Is lymphadenopathy serious?

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Lymphadenopathy, or swollen lymph nodes, is not usually serious. Lymph glands are part of your body's immune system. When they swell, it's often a sign that they are fighting a bacterial or viral infection. Swollen lymph nodes usually clear up within a few weeks, but sometimes they can become infected (a condition called lymphadenitis). If that happens, your physician will probably prescribe an antibiotic. Serious complications can occur if a lymph node infection is not treated and spreads. Lymphadenopathy can also be a sign of serious conditions like lupus or cancer.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.