People with TB infection have the TB germ in their bodies but are not sick because the germs are inactive and, therefore, cannot be spread to others. Because these people may develop the disease in the future, they often are given preventive treatment.
People with TB disease are sick from the germs that are active in their bodies. They exhibit symptoms of the disease and, if they have TB of the lungs or throat, can spread the disease to others. Physicians can prescribe drugs to cure TB.