Blood poisoning is an illness due to an infection or its toxin spreading through the bloodstream. The presence of bacteria in the blood is called bacteremia.

Short bursts of low levels of bacteria in the blood usually do not cause problems. However, if bacteria levels do not decrease, then sepsis may occur.

Sepsis occurs when large numbers of infectious agents exist in the blood. Infections with viruses, fungi, and parasites may lead to sepsis as well. Causes include:

  • An existing infection
  • Contagious diseases
  • A dirty needle used by an IV drug user

Toxins Can Spread Through the Bloodstream
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