What are the symptoms to look out for? | Western Cape Government

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What are the symptoms to look out for?

What are the symptoms to look out for?

TB bacteria most commonly grow in the lungs, and can cause the following symptoms:

  • a bad cough that doesn't respond to medication,
  • weakness or fatigue,
  • weight loss,
  • loss of appetite,
  • night sweats,
  • pain in the chest,
  • coughing up blood or sputum (mucus from deep inside the lungs), and
  • chills caused by a fever.

Young man taking his TB medication

Anyone can get TB, but people at high risk generally fall into 2 categories:

1. People recently infected with the TB bacteria.

2. People with medical conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV and diabetes.

You're at increased risk for being infected if:

  • you've spent time with a person with TB,
  • you're from a country or have visited areas where TB is very common
  • you live or work where TB is more common, such as a homeless shelter, prison, or long-term care facility, or
  • you're a healthcare worker who works with clients or patients who are at increased risk for TB.
The content on this page was last updated on 1 March 2021