What are the symptoms of tuberculosis?

If you develop TB symptoms, this is active TB.

In England, TB affects the lung in just over half of people with active TB. The most common symptom is a persistent cough. You might cough up phlegm, also called sputum, and it may have blood in it.

TB can affect any part of your body such as the lymph glands, bones, abdomen and brain. The second commonest site of TB infection is in the lymph glands, often those in the neck. Lymph glands are small areas in your body that contain white blood cells that can swell up if they’re infected.

TB symptoms

Other possible symptoms are:

  • losing weight
  • losing your appetite
  • a fever with sweating, particularly at night

Next: How is it diagnosed? >

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Last medically reviewed: September 2017. Due for review: September 2020

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.