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What does an elevated WBC count indicate?

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Quick Answer

An elevated white blood cell count indicates a bacterial infection, according to WedMD. White blood cells are the defenders of the body against infection. The WBC count rises very quickly when it detects the presence of a virus, bacteria or organism in the body.

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A complete blood count test, known as a CBC test, is used by doctors to diagnose anemia, infection and other conditions notes WebMD. It includes a WBC, or leukocyte, count and a WBC differential, as well as a red blood cell count. It also measures hematocrit and hemoglobin, and performs a red blood cell indices, measures mean platelet volume, and performs a platelet, or thrombocyte, count. The normal range for the CBC test is based on the age, sex, how high above sea level the person is living, and the type of blood sample.

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