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Your immune system defends your body from infection.
It is made up of cells, tissues, and organs. They work together to protect the body from germs that could make you sick. These germs include bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
People with cancer and blood disorders may have weak immune systems.
When you have a weak immune system, germs can infect you and grow more easily.
Immunocompromised patients are at risk for serious infections. In some cases, these infections can be life-threatening.
There are many reasons that people with cancer and blood disorders may have a weak immune system.
Chemotherapy drugs target areas of the body that grow quickly. The immune system is one of these areas.
Diseases may affect how the immune system works.
Read more about Immunity, Illness, and Infection.
Here is more information about common infections in immunocompromised patients.
C. diff bacteria often live in the digestive tract. High levels of C. diff may lead to infection. Washing your hands is the best way to prevent C. diff infection.
Chickenpox is a disease that easily passes from person to person. It can be a serious illness in a child with a weak immune system.
CMV is a common virus. It stays in your body for life, but it usually only causes problems if you have a weak immune system.
After infection, HHV-6 usually stays “asleep” and doesn’t cause problems. If your immune system is weak, the virus can sometimes become active and cause illness.
Parvovirus, also called Human Parvovirus B19, is a common virus that spreads easily from person to person.
Children with cancer and other serious diseases are at high risk of infection from rotavirus and it can be dangerous for them. Learn how to prevent rotavirus.
Reviewed: August 2022