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Understanding Tuberculosis -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis?

The symptoms of tuberculosis range from no symptoms (latent tuberculosis) to symptoms of active disease. In fact, you may not even be aware that you have a latent TB infection until it's revealed through a skin test, perhaps during a routine checkup. 

If you have active TB disease, you may have these symptoms:

Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems

Understanding Tuberculosis -- the Basics

Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is a bacterial infection that can spread through the lymph nodes and bloodstream to any organ in your body. It is most often found in the lungs. Most people who are exposed to TB never develop symptoms because the bacteria can live in an inactive form in the body. But if the immune system weakens, such as in people with HIV or elderly adults, TB bacteria can become active. In their active state, TB bacteria cause death of tissue in the organs they infect. Active...

Read the Understanding Tuberculosis -- the Basics article > >

  • Overall sensation of feeling unwell
  • Cough, possibly with bloody mucus
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Slight fever
  • Night sweats
  • Pain in the chest

 

Call Your Doctor About TB If:

  • You have any of the symptoms of active TB disease
  • You have been exposed to someone with active tuberculosis

Virtually all of the symptoms of tuberculosis can be confused with symptoms of other diseases. Bloody mucus, for example, can also be a symptom of bronchitis or pneumonia. An evaluation by your doctor is key to confirming whether you have latent TB infection, active TB disease, or some other condition.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 12, 2014

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