Recognizing the following signs and symptoms of infection will allow you to assess infection control risks. Any of these changes with other clues could point to an infection and will give indicators as to what infection control measures need to be used to keep a potential infection from spreading. These signs alone will not determine the type of precautions and PPE to use—they must be combined with further information.
- Fever and chills
- Increased heart rate and breathing rate
- Aches, pain or tenderness
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Loss of appetite,
- Sores on the mucous membrane
- Redness and swelling of a body part
- Discharge or drainage from the infected area that may have an odor
- New or increased cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose
- Burning pain urinating or the need to urinate frequently
- Changes in behavior in elders
(Sorrentino, Remmert & Wilk, 2018)
Note: Signs and symptoms number 1-5, and 15 are general signs of infection. All other listed symptoms would potentially be a reason for precautions, dependent on the circumstances.