1.2.6 Common Signs and Symptoms of Infection in the Body

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.

  1. Fever and chills
  2. Increased heart rate and breathing rate
  3. Aches, pain or tenderness
  4. Fatigue or loss of energy
  5. Loss of appetite,
  6. Nausea
  7. Vomiting
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Rash
  10. Sores on the mucous membrane
  11. Redness and swelling of a body part
  12. Discharge or drainage from the infected area that may have an odor
  13. New or increased cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose
  14. Burning pain urinating or the need to urinate frequently
  15. 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.


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