Asked by: Haifeng Hornbostel
medical health vaccines

Can you have TB and not know it?

Last Updated: 16th May, 2020

People with latent TB infection do notfeel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spreadTB bacteria to others. TB bacteria most commonly growin the lungs, and can cause symptoms such as: A bad coughthat lasts 3 weeks or longer. Pain in the chest.

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Correspondingly, can you have TB without symptoms?

A person who's experiencing spinal (or bone)tuberculosis may not even know for a while after theinfection starts. Most individuals don't experience symptomsuntil the TB is advanced. Knowing the differentsymptoms and types of TB is incredibly important,because if left untreated, TB can be deadly.

Similarly, can TB lay dormant for years? Many of those who suffer TB do so in the firstfew years following infection. However, the bacillus maylie dormant in the body for decades. Although most initialinfections have no symptoms and people overcome them, they maydevelop fever, dry cough, and abnormalities that may be seen on achest X-ray.

Considering this, what is the first sign of tuberculosis?

The symptoms of TB include a low-grade fever,night sweats, weakness or tiredness, and weight loss. If TBis in the lungs, the person may also cough, have chest pain,shortness of breath or might be coughing up blood.

Do you have TB forever?

Latent TB: You have the germs in yourbody, but your immune system stops them from spreading. That meansyou don't have any symptoms and you'renot contagious. But the infection is still alive in your body andcan one day become active.

Related Question Answers

Demian Alshansky

Professional

How do you confirm TB?

The Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST) or the TBblood test can be used to test for M. tuberculosisinfection. Additional tests are required to confirm TBdisease. The Mantoux tuberculin skin test is performed by injectinga small amount of fluid called tuberculin into the skin in thelower part of the arm.

Ahmet Lasala

Professional

What does a tuberculosis cough sound like?

TB bacteria most commonly grow in the lungs, andcan cause symptoms such as: A bad cough that lasts 3 weeksor longer. Pain in the chest. Coughing up blood or sputum(mucus from deep inside the lungs)

Tanna Leonardi

Professional

Who is most at risk for tuberculosis?

People at high risk for progression to TB disease onceinfected include:
  • Persons with human immunodeficiency virus HIV infection.
  • Persons who were infected with M. tuberculosis within the past2 years, particularly infants and very young children.

Itxaropena Rocabado

Explainer

What happens if I test positive for TB?

TB Skin Testing Results
If you have a raised, hard bump or there'sswelling on your arm, you have a positive test. That meansTB germs are in your body. But it doesn't always mean youhave active tuberculosis disease. If you don't have areaction, your test is negative.

Franziska Hamdi

Explainer

Will latent TB show up on xray?

Individuals with latent TB infection are notinfectious. They are negative to most TB tests includingculture, Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT), and smearmicroscopy. Small nodules are occasionally seen on chestx-ray or CT scan.

Kaci Naranjo

Explainer

How do I know if I have latent TB?

Persons with latent TB infection do not feel sickand do not have any symptoms. They are infected withM. tuberculosis, but do not have TB disease. The onlysign of TB infection is a positive reaction to thetuberculin skin test or TB blood test.

Gilda Evermann

Pundit

Does tuberculosis show up on xray?

Therefore chest x-rays are usually an indicatorof whether or not a person might have TB, but they cannotconfirm the diagnosis. They are used to confirm a suspicion, andwill always be followed by tests that aim at finding the TBbacterium. The diagnosis of TB cannot be made by a chestx-ray alone.

Adonay Zlotnick

Pundit

Can I have TB without coughing?

People with TB infection have theTB bacteria in their body, but they don't have signsof the infection. People with TB disease (also known asactive TB) have disease signs. They may have acough that doesn't go away.

Carie Mlachnev

Pundit

Is sore throat a sign of TB?

Symptoms may vary
For example, a cough is a common symptom of TBin the lungs. Someone with TB in the lymphnodes may have a swollen throat. Aches and pains inthe joints could be TB in the bones. TBmeningitis often gives a person severeheadaches.

Cuizhu Ordner

Pundit

Does TB affect your breathing?

At first, a TB infection normally affects thelungs. This is called pulmonary TB. However, TBoften spreads to the lymph nodes (glands throughoutyour body that are part of your immune system). Itcan also affect your bones, joints and kidneys.

Astrid Katsourinis

Pundit

What is the fastest way to cure TB?

The usual treatment is:
  1. two antibiotics (isoniazid and rifampicin) for six months.
  2. two additional antibiotics (pyrazinamide and ethambutol) forthe first two months of the six-month treatment period.

Anca Bartelheimer

Teacher

Can a person with TB go to work?

If you have TB disease of the lungs or throat,you are probably infectious. You need to stay home from workor school so that you don't spread TB bacteria to otherpeople. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when youcan return to work or school or visit withfriends.

Hagen Steinbruckner

Teacher

How can you tell the difference between pneumonia and TB?

Tuberculosis is contagious, whilepneumonia is not. This is because different bacteria causeeach complication. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is responsiblefor TB, while many bacteria, including and most usually,Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause pneumonia.

Evelyn Ortegon

Teacher

Does TB make you tired?

A person with TB infection will have no symptoms.A person with active TB disease may have any or all of thefollowing symptoms: A persistent cough. Constantfatigue.

Emmanuelle Lebowitz

Teacher

How does tuberculosis affect the body?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused bygerms that are spread from person to person through the air.TB usually affects the lungs, but it can alsoaffect other parts of the body, such as the brain,the kidneys, or the spine. A person with TB can die if theydo not get treatment.

Jhoselyn Malvar

Reviewer

How long is TB contagious?

Even before a TB diagnosis, people canunwittingly transmit tuberculosis to others. People withsymptomatic TB are contagious until they have takentheir TB medications for at least two weeks. After thatpoint, treatment must continue for months, but the infection is nolonger contagious.

Cristo Serrano

Reviewer

How long does it take to die from tuberculosis?

In general the infection progresses slowly. If affectedpersons do not receive treatment, roughly one third of thosewith active TB die within two years and another third withinfive years.

Isaias Baglietto

Reviewer

Is there a blood test for TB?

The tuberculosis (TB) blood test,also called an Interferon Gamma Release Assay or IGRA, is a way tofind out if you have TB germs in your body. The TB bloodtest can be done instead of a TB skin test(Mantoux). There are two kinds of TB blood tests:QuantiFERON®-TB.

Niculaie Fledderjohann

Reviewer

How does someone get latent TB?

Some people develop TB disease soon (withinweeks) after becoming infected, before their immune systemcan fight the TB bacteria. This is called latentTB infection. People with latent TB infection cannotspread TB bacteria to others. People who have latentTB infection can be treated to prevent developingTB disease.