A high white blood cell count usually indicates:

  • An increased production of white blood cells to fight an infection
  • A reaction to a drug that increases white blood cell production
  • A disease of bone marrow, causing abnormally high production of white blood cells
  • An immune system disorder that increases white blood cell production

Specific causes of a high white blood cell count include:

  1. Allergy, especially severe allergic reactions
  2. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  3. Chronic myelogenous leukemia
  4. Drugs, such as corticosteroids and epinephrine
  5. Infections, bacterial or viral
  6. Myelofibrosis
  7. Polycythemia vera
  8. Rheumatoid arthritis
  9. Smoking
  10. Stress, such as severe emotional or physical stress
  11. Tuberculosis

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Dec. 17, 2015