Tuberculosis (TB) is a slow-growing bacterial infection that most often affects the lungs.  If active TB is not treated, it can damage your lungs or other organs and can be deadly.  You can also spread TB to others if you are not treated.  

Symptoms of active TB may include:  

  • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer  
  • Pain in the chest  
  • Coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)  
  • Tiredness, weakness, and/or fatigue  
  • Weight loss and/or loss of appetite  
  • Night sweats, chills, and/or fever  
  • Rapid heartbeat  
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing  

Treatment is usually successful, but TB can only be cured if you take all the doses of your medicine.  Treatment is a long process usually taking about 6 to 9 months to complete.  However, some TB infections need treatment for up to 2 years. 

Your local health department offers TB testing for a small fee.  If necessary, TB treatment is available. 

For information on TB rates throughout Georgia and by county, visit: 

Last Updated on June 19, 2023