Tuberculosis (TB) (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, slow-growing bacteria that thrive in areas of the body that are rich in blood and oxygen, such as the lungs.
If you have latent tuberculosis (TB), you do not have symptoms and cannot spread the disease to others. If you have active TB, you do have symptoms and can spread the disease to others. Which specific symptoms you have will depend on whether your TB infection is in your lungs (the most common site) or in another part of your body (extrapulmonary TB).
Symptoms of active TB in the lungs
Symptoms of active TB in the lungs begin gradually and develop over a period of weeks or months. You may have one or two mild symptoms and not even know that you have the disease.
Common symptoms include:
Symptoms of an active TB infection outside the lungs
Symptoms of TB outside the lungs (extrapulmonary TB) vary widely depending on which area of the body is infected. For example, back pain can be a symptom of TB in the spine, or your neck may get swollen when lymph nodes in the neck are infected.
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