Common symptoms of tuberculosis include fatigue and weakness, fever, chills or night sweats, and a cough with thick, cloudy or bloody mucus for more than two weeks, according to WebMD. Patients with tuberculosis may also experience chest pain, shortness of breath and a loss of appetite with unexplained weight loss.
People with active tuberculosis may not notice symptoms as they gradually develop over a few weeks or months, explains WebMD. Many patients have mild forms of one or two symptoms at the onset of the disease.
Tuberculosis commonly affects the lungs, but it can also affect various parts of the body, according to WebMD. Tuberculosis in the spine can cause back pain, while TB affecting the neck can cause the lymph nodes to swell.
Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a disease that spreads bacteria through the air from one person to another, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition can be fatal if not treated properly. Common risk factors include exposure to individuals with tuberculosis and a medical condition that causes the immune system to weaken. Individuals who live in or have visited countries where tuberculosis is common are at risk for contracting the disease. People who work in the health care field, prisons or homeless shelters are at an increased risk, as well.