What Are The Symptoms of Tb?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. TB can be either active or latent. Latent TB means the bacteria are in the body but not causing symptoms, and the person is not contagious. Active TB is when the bacteria are actively causing symptoms and can be transmitted to others.

The symptoms of active TB can vary depending on which part of the body is affected, but the most common form is pulmonary TB, which affects the lungs. Typical symptoms of active pulmonary TB include:

  • Persistent Cough: A cough that lasts for more than three weeks is a common symptom. The cough may produce phlegm or blood.
  • Chest Pain: Pain in the chest may occur due to the inflammation in the lungs.
  • Coughing up Blood: This is known as hemoptysis and can be a sign of advanced disease.
  • Fatigue: General tiredness and weakness are common, especially as the disease progresses.
  • Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss is a common symptom of active TB.
  • Fever: A low-grade fever, particularly in the evening, is common in active TB.
  • Night Sweats: Profuse sweating during sleep can be a symptom.
  • Loss of Appetite: A decrease in appetite and consequent weight loss often occur.
  • Shortness of Breath: As the disease progresses, you may become more short of breath.
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes: Enlarged lymph nodes, especially in the neck, can occur if the infection has spread.
  • Generalized Symptoms: In some cases, TB can affect other parts of the body besides the lungs. Symptoms can include joint pain, back pain, abdominal pain, or neurological symptoms if it affects the spine or brain.

It’s important to note that TB can be asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, especially in the early stages. This can make it difficult to diagnose and control the spread of the disease.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms suggestive of TB, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. TB is a treatable disease with antibiotics, but early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications and further transmission. Additionally, if you are at risk of TB due to factors like recent exposure or a weakened immune system, you may be recommended for TB testing even if you don’t have symptoms.

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