Officials with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Social Welfare and Public Health Bureau (computer translated) say nine people are currently being treated for tuberculosis (TB) and an additional 34 are being treated for latent TB after exposure to an infected student last year. The index student, studying at a Japanese language school in 2015, developed symptoms of TB in September and was diagnosed via chest X-ray in November.

However, the student, unaware of the seriousness of his illness, continued attending classes after symptoms appeared. Tokyo has reported a rise in TB cases in recent years. Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. READ MORE