Other Names for the Tuberculosis Disease


Tuberculosis, which was once a fairly common condition, is now considered to be a "rare disease" by the National Organization of Rare Diseases. A bacterial infection that affects the lungs, kidney, respiratory system and the spine, tuberculosis can be deadly. This condition has a variety of different names, however, so it's important to know the aliases that tuberculosis goes by.


  • Perhaps the most common name of tuberculosis was consumption. This name was associated with the eventual deterioration of the person's health, as well as his lungs.


  • The obvious choice of nickname, tuberculosis is often shortened to simply TB. This name is used when a person is tested, simply called a TB test.

Koch's Disease

  • Robert Koch was the German doctor who discovered the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. As such, it's sometimes referred to as Koch's disease.

Wasting Disease

  • This name refers to the fact that a person who has tuberculosis begins to waste away. The symptoms of tuberculosis first steal a person's energy, and then her physical mass as she "wastes" or is "consumed."

White Plague

  • Another name for tuberculosis, though not one that's used often anymore, is "white plague"--white refers to the victims' loss of skin color and plague refers to the high death rate.


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