Where infections commonly start | Cancer Research UK
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Where infections commonly start

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This page tells you about where infections commonly start. Fever can be one of the first symptoms of an infection somewhere in your body. It is a sign that your immune system is trying to fight off the infection. A fever in itself is not usually dangerous, but the infection that causes it can be. It is very important to tell your doctor if you develop a fever so they can treat the infection that is causing it.

An infection can occur anywhere in your body. The most common places are

  • The mouth and throat
  • The skin
  • The lungs
  • The kidneys and bladder, especially if you have a catheter to drain urine from your bladder
  • Where a drip or central line goes in (cannula sites and PICC line sites)
  • Wounds and where wound drains go in
  • Ulcerating tumours

Other less common places are the

  • Liver and abdomen
  • Gullet (oesophagus)
  • Vagina and anus
  • Brain and spinal cord
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Updated: 25 April 2014