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What does the lymphatic system do when you are sick?

ANSWER

Your lymphatic system is like an inner highway that carries white blood cells through your body.

When you're sick, you might notice your lymph nodes -- small glands in your neck, groin, armpits, and behind your knees -- are swollen. This is normal. It means your immune system has kicked into high gear to get rid of infection.

Lymph nodes are also filters for your immune system. They catch germs and dead or damaged cells and destroy them.

SOURCES:

PubMed Health: “The Immune System,” “What are the organs of the immune system?” “How does the immune system work?”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Immune System.”

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: “Respiratory: What You Should Know About Germs.”

Merck Manual: “Defenses Against Infection,” “Overview of the Immune System.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Childhood Vaccines: What They Are and Why Your Child Needs Them.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “What Are White Blood Cells?”

CDC: “Understanding How Vaccines Work.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 29, 2017

SOURCES:

PubMed Health: “The Immune System,” “What are the organs of the immune system?” “How does the immune system work?”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Immune System.”

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: “Respiratory: What You Should Know About Germs.”

Merck Manual: “Defenses Against Infection,” “Overview of the Immune System.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Childhood Vaccines: What They Are and Why Your Child Needs Them.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “What Are White Blood Cells?”

CDC: “Understanding How Vaccines Work.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 29, 2017

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Is it bad to get sick if I have AIDS?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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