If the tuberculosis bacilli lie dormant in the body, a person does not get the symptoms of the disease and he can not spread it to others. However, once the bacilli get active, the symptoms begin to appear and at this point the person is infectious and can spread the disease to others.
Overview of the Symptoms of Tuberculosis:
The most common organ to be infected by tuberculosis bacilli are the lungs. The symptoms begin gradually and most people do not notice them because they are mild. The most common symptoms of tuberculosis of the lungs are as follows:
o Night sweats
o Cough with thick sputum, which can sometimes be bloody
o Loss of appetite
o Loss of weight for no apparent reason
o Chest pain
o Shortness of breath
Many of these symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia and lung cancer. That is why it is best to visit a doctor and get yourself tested for tuberculosis before jumping to any conclusions.
The symptoms of tuberculosis in other organs depend on the area of infection. For instance, tuberculosis of the spine will lead to back pain; while that of the lymph nodes will lead to swelling of the neck.
Most symptoms are not obvious until the disease reaches an advanced stage. And, many times the symptoms are attributed to another disease or disorder and people neglect going to a doctor.
Most people who get infected with tuberculosis bacilli will get the disease in the first few years, but it is quite possible for the bacilli to lie dormant in the body for years before causing an infection.