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An infection occurs when agents capable of causing diseases invade an organism. These agents multiply and attack the body. In response, the body attempts to prevent damage. In normal situations, blood is a sterile environment. Since there are usually no disease-causing agents in the blood, a bloodstream infection or bacteremia is very rare. Bacteria appearing in the bloodstream is abnormal and could be a sign of a major illness. Bloodstream infections have various causes and side effects.

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1. Blood and Infections

Infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, viroids, and prions can invade our bodies. In humans, the immune system responds to these threats. This response frequently involves inflammation and an adaptive reaction specific to the infectious agent. Infectious agents typically can’t invade the bloodstream. Occasionally, small amounts of bacteria enter the bloodstream but pose no risk because of their low population count -- the immune system quickly removes them.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.