What is it?

White blood cells are vital components of the blood. Their role is to fight infection. Elevated white blood cell count (leukocytosis) usually means that there is:
An increased production of white blood cells due to an infection- bacterial or viral
Usage of a medication that causes overproduction of white blood cells- such as corticosteroid or epinephrine
Bone marrow diseases such as myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera
Blood cancers such as acute or chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute or chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Immune system disorder
Other causes include smoking, stress, pregnancy, labor, excessive exercise, injury, inflammation, and severe allergic reaction.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Leukocytosis

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms depend on the condition which is also causing the leukocytosis, therefore may vary.


Diagnosis is based on a complete blood count. Usually, elevated white blood cell count means that there are more than 11,000 leukocytes in a microliter of blood, but the exact number depends on the laboratory.


Treatment depends on the underlying cause- antibiotics for bacterial infection, stop taking the drug causing leukocytosis, oncological treatment for leukemia and lymphoma, stop smoking etc.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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