Signs and Symptoms of Tuberculosis

Signs and Symptoms of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial disease caused by mycobacteria, specifically Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. bovis, or M. africanum. The disease is spread from inhalation of organisms dispersed as droplets from the sputum of infected persons. TB traditionally was diagnosed among economically disadvantaged population groups (e.g., homeless persons, people living in unhygienic conditions). At high risk are health care workers or immune compromised people such as those with cancer, chronic renal disease or HIV. The infection can occur in any part of the body and the symptoms depend on where the infection occurs.

The symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis, a TB infection of the lungs include a high temperature of 100.4 º F or above, night sweats, chills and persistent cough for more than 4 weeks. Many of them may also experience sudden loss of appetite. This may lead to weight loss and they may need higher caloric intakes.

TB infection can even occur in the genitourinary tract and lead to symptoms such as pain in the groin, frequent urination at night, presence of blood in the urine or a burning sensation when you urinate.

Central nervous system (CNS) consists of your spinal cord and your brain and CNS TB symptoms include severe back/neck pain and stiffness thus limiting the movement and flexibility, headache or dizziness or it may even lead to fits or seizures.

Gastrointestinal tuberculosis is defined as infection of the peritoneum, abdominal organs and abdominal lymphatic. Gastrointestinal TB is the sixth most common extra-pulmonary location in the United States and the symptoms include severe abdominal pain, changes in the bowel habits, chronic diarrhea and rectal bleeding.


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