TB – how much do you know? A quiz

TB – how much do you know? A quiz

Tuberculosis Centre

TB – how much do you know? A quiz

World TB Day, falling on 24 March each year, is designed to create public awareness that tuberculosis remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year.

One way of taking action is to have knowledge. This is your opportunity to test your knowledge about TB. Take the quiz and find out.

The correct answers appear below.


1. What is the name of the bacteria responsible for causing tuberculosis?
A. E. coli
B. Paramecium
C. Mycobacterium tuberculosis
D. Amoeba

2. How do you get TB?
A. Through the air
B. Through sexual contact
C. Through contaminated food
D. Through blood
E. A and C

3. Not all people infected with the TB bacterium will develop the disease.
A. True
B. False

4. TB is curable.
A. True
B. False

5. Who is more at risk of developing tuberculosis in South Africa?
A. People with HIV infection
B. Patients receiving certain medical treatments (eg corticosteroid treatment, anti-cancer chemotherapy or transplant anti-rejection medication)
C. People who have been in close contact with someone who has infectious TB
D. People who became infected with TB in the last two years
E. Babies and young children
F. People who inject drugs
G. All the above

6. Can you get TB if you have been vaccinated?
A. Yes
B. No

7. What type of medicine is used as an effective cure for tuberculosis?
A. Painkillers
B. Homeopathic medicine
C. Antacids
D. Antibiotics

8. What are the symptoms of active TB?
A. Weight loss
B. Night sweats
C. Loss of appetite
D. All of the above

9. Tuberculosis only affects the lungs.
A. True
B. False

10. What tests are done to confirm TB?
A. Sputum microscopy
B. Chest X-ray
C. Complete blood count
D. All the above


1. Correct answer: C. The bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes TB.

2. Correct answer: A. Tuberculosis is spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak or sneeze. TB is contagious, but it is not easy to catch.

3. Correct answer: A. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection and TB disease. People with latent TB infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. They are not infectious and cannot spread TB infection to others. Overall, without treatment, about 5 to 10% of infected people will develop TB disease at some time in their lives. About half of those people who develop TB will do so within the first two years of infection.

4. Correct answer: A. Tuberculosis is a treatable and curable disease. However, medicine treatment requires that a number of antibiotics be taken for a prolonged period of time, usually six to nine months. Some cases of tuberculosis are caused by mycobacteria that are resistant to the commonly used anti-tuberculosis medicines, making it extremely difficult to treat.

5. Correct answer: G. The immune systems of all these groups of people are not strong enough to fight the disease.

6. Correct answer: A. Unfortunately the BCG vaccine does not always protect people from getting TB but it has a 70 to 80% effectiveness rate against the most severe forms of TB, such as TB meningitis in children. Children receive this vaccine in countries where the TB prevalence is high.

7. Correct answer: D. Antibiotics must be taken for at least six to nine months. The exact medicine and length of treatment depend on the age and overall health of the person, possible drug resistance, the form of TB (latent or active) and the infection’s location in the body.

8. Correct answer: D. These are the most common signs and symptoms of active TB

  • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite.

9. Correct answer: B. Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of your body, including your kidneys, spine or brain. When TB occurs outside your lungs, signs and symptoms vary according to the organs involved. For example, tuberculosis of the spine may give you back pain, and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.

10. Correct answer: D. All of these tests are done to diagnose TB. Tests can also be done to determine if the sufferer has drug resistant TB.