10 Symptoms of TB

By kara
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. World Health Organization. (2020). Tuberculosis (TB). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tuberculosis
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Medical Expert Medical Expert

Tuberculosis results from an infection with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium. Once active, TB can affect virtually any part of the body. The most common area of infection, however, is the lungs. This is known as pulmonary tuberculosis. According to the World Health Organization, it was responsible for 1.4 million deaths in 2019.1World Health Organization. (2020). Tuberculosis (TB). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tuberculosis

Most people who contract tuberculosis become latent carriers, meaning they never develop symptoms and cannot spread the illness to others. Those who go on to develop active infections can experience a host of symptoms. Keep reading to learn about the 10 most common symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis.

1. Prolonged Cough

People who develop symptoms from a tuberculosis infection often experience a prolonged cough. It tends to last for three weeks or more and can become severe. Patients with a forceful TB-induced cough often cough up sputum — mucus from deep within the lungs.

A cough develops with TB because the bacteria have invaded the lungs. As that infection grows, damage can occur to lung tissue. Left untreated, this can prove to be permanent and, in severe cases, fatal. Taking a course of approved antibiotics can cure most cases of TB. However, the rate of drug-resistant strains is increasing.


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