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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What elevated white blood cell levels indicate an infection?

Answered by
Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 2238 Questions

Posted on Thu, 4 Oct 2018 in General Health
Question: what "number" indicates an infection with a elevated white blood cell count. I understand a normal white blood cell count ranges from 10-11
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 31 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Normal range is between 4-11

Detailed Answer:


Based on the history you have shared, it seems not of worry some as mild fluctuations may occur however the usual range is around 4-11 thousand.

The common cause of derangements is due to infections or any abnormal production from the bone marrow.

Though such minor fluctuations may be a normal variant as well. Kindly monitor your blood counts by repeating after two weeks and for any signs of fever or infection.

At this moment no medical management is indicated. A urinalysis may be done to rule out any underlying urinary tract infection though.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 2 hours later
so just because white blood cell counts are elevated doesn't necessarily mean there is an infection unless the blood is tested to determine infection? But it needs to be monitored? How does a patient "monitor" their own white blood cell count?
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 17 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Monitoring means to repeat it after two weeks to monitor the trend

Detailed Answer:


Yes, it doesn't mean necessarily to be raised due to infection.

However, until source, if the infection isn't known or any other test like blood cultures etc doesn't indicate infection it doesn't need to be treated with antibiotics etc.

Kindly get it repeated after a week or two to see the trend as it is most likely to normalise at it's own due to bodies own defense however it if stays high it may need other tests to look for the cause.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Saddiq Ulabidin, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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