What Are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis?


Quick Answer

People with latent tuberculosis show no symptoms and are not contagious. Those with active TB are contagious and experience various flu-like symptoms, swelling and pain, depending on the location of the infection, according to WebMD.

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What Are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis?
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Full Answer

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial infection that often develops in the lungs, as it needs a good source of oxygen and blood in order to grow. When the infection is present in the lungs, it is known as pulmonary TB. While mostly found in the lungs, TB can also develop in other areas of the body and is then known as extrapulmonary TB. This illnesscan be present in the body in two ways. It can be latent, which means that the bacteria is present but is being controlled by the body's immune system. In this state, no symptoms are present and the TB can't be passed on to others. If the TB is active, symptoms are present and the infection can be spread to others.

Symptoms of active pulmonary TB include coughing with thick, sometimes bloody, mucus that lasts for more than 2 weeks; chills and fever; weight and appetite loss; weakness and fatigue; chest pains; and trouble breathing. Symptoms of active extrapulmonary TB depend on where the infection is located and may include various pains and swelling. Tuberculosis is generally treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

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