Symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB)

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Tuberculosis only causes symptoms in people with the active form of the disease. Latent TB (LTBI) means you are infected with tuberculosis, but the bacterium is in an inactive state, is causing no symptoms, and is not contagious. Latent TB can turn into active TB, however, so you should be aware of the symptoms either way. 

Signs and Symptoms of Active TB Include:

• Coughing that lasts three or more weeks

Coughing up blood 

• Chest pain or pain when breathing or coughing

• Unintentional weight loss

• Fatigue

• Fever

• Night sweats

• Chills

• Loss of appetite

In rare cases, tuberculosis can affect your kidneys, brain, or spine. Signs and symptoms will vary according to the organs involved. Tuberculosis in the spine may cause back pain, for example, and tuberculosis in your kidneys could cause blood in your urine.

When to See a Doctor

If you have a cough that lasts longer than three weeks, are coughing up blood, or experiencing chest pain when breathing or coughing, call your doctor right away. Other symptoms, such as weight loss or fatigue, can potentially indicate TB, but they may also occur for unrelated reasons. If you are concerned, or believe you may have been exposed to someone with active TB, play it safe and contact your health care provider to arrange a TB test.

 

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tuberculosis Signs and Symptoms. https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/signsandsymptoms.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. http://www.cdc.gov/tb/default

World Health Organization. Tuberculosis. http://www.who.int/tb/en/