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The Difference between Latent TB Infection (LTBI) and TB Disease

A Person with Latent TB InfectionA Person with TB Disease
  • Has no symptoms
  • Has symptoms that may include:
    • a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
    • pain in the chest
    • coughing up blood or sputum
    • weakness or fatigue
    • weight loss
    • no appetite
    • chills
    • fever
    • sweating at night

  • Does not feel sick
  • Usually feels sick
  • Cannot spread TB bacteria to others
  • May spread TB bacteria to others
  • Usually has a skin test or blood test result indicating TB infection
  • Usually has a skin test or blood test result indicating TB infection
  • Has a normal chest x-ray and a negative sputum smear
  • May have an abnormal chest x-ray, or positive sputum smear or culture
  • Needs treatment for latent TB infection to prevent TB disease
  • Needs treatment to treat TB disease

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