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Dr. Charles
Dr. Charles, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  Internal medicine specialist
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I have a low white blood count (tested at 1.4 a couple of

Resolved Question:

I have a low white blood count (tested at 1.4 a couple of months ago). At the time, I was at a free clinic so there was no follow-through except "try to not get sick". I now have insurance but haven't gotten this checked yet.   (btw I have sarcoidosis). And now I hear in the news about the swine flu issue and am concerned. My question is: Does low wbc count make me vulnerable to *all* infections, including viral, or just bacterial. In other words, should I worry?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Charles replied 8 years ago.

A low number of WBCs is called leukopenia. It may be due to:Bone marrow failure (for example, due to infection, tumor),collagen-vascular diseases,disease of the liver or spleen,radiation.Other causes are:uremia,steroid treatment,aplastic anemia.AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome),multiple sclerosis,myasthenia gravis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome are the other causes which can cause low white blood cell count.Certain medications can also cause low WBC count.


If your WBC count is low,the first thing is to find out the cause & its treatment is according to cause.Remember low WBC count is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying disease. So the underlying disease is to be diagnosed.For this you have to consult Hematologist who will perform certain tests & scans.





Customer: replied 8 years ago.
You did not answer my question as to whether low wbc count makes me vulnerable to viral infections or just bacterial and if I should be worried about swine flu.
Expert:  Dr. Charles replied 8 years ago.

You are more prone to get the infections including swine flu.You are more prone to get the viral infections first & then if the WBC count is too low then you can also get the bacterial infections.So I conclude that you are more prone/vulnerable to both viral & bacterial infections.





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