Why Have I Not Heard of It?
You've probably heard of other mycobacterial diseases. The two most famous, or infamous, forms of mycobacteria are different than NTM lung illness. They are Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) and Mycobacterium Leprae (leprosy), both of which have caused great human suffering and are contagious (spread from person to person).
Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) should not be confused with TB or leprosy. There is considerable scientific evidence that NTMs are acquired from the environment, not other persons.