Tuberculosis Symptoms

The common tuberculosis symptoms are a cough with sputum, fatigue, and cold sweats often during the night.

Tuberculosis infection symptoms are caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It commonly infects the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis) but can affect most other regions of the body (extrapulmonary).

These extrapulmonary infections sites include the kidneys, brain, bones, lymph nodes, heart, joints, and reproductive organs.

Tuberculosis is a contagious disease which spreads only through airborne droplets from the cough that develops.

Tuberculosis often remains dormant in infected individuals for prolonged periods following their exposure.

In the majority of cases, when the bacterium activates, it will do so within 2 years of initial exposure and infection. The trigger is not known.

Tuberculosis symptoms:

  • cough
  • green/yellow sputum sometimes with blood
  • cold night sweats
  • general feeling of illness
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • fever

Diagnosis is typically through chest x-ray, skin test, and laboratory analysis of a sputum sample.

Treatment is typically with long-term administration of antibiotics. In severe or chronic infections surgical removal of the infected area of lung may be necessary.

Prevention of the spread of the disease could be achieved through isolation and quarantine of infected individuals.

Early detection and treatment would also help stop the disease from becoming active (and contagious) in most individuals.

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