Lymph nodes are small organs and ducts that filter and transport infection fighting fluids throughout the body. Though lymph nodes are found throughout the body, the most common areas where lymph node infections occur are the neck, underarm and groin.
When fighting an infection, lymph nodes will swell and may become warm to the touch. Hard or immovable nodules on or near the lymph nodes should be seen by a doctor to rule out tumors or growths.
Localized pain or tenderness is a common symptom of a lymph node infection. The skin over an infected lymph node may also become red and sensitive to touch.
Fever may be caused by an underlying infection that the lymph nodes are fighting, or due to infected lymph nodes themselves. Any prolonged fever symptomatic of a lymph node infection should be evaluated by a doctor.
Flu-like symptoms or a general feeling of unwell may accompany lymph node infections. Headache, sore throat, lethargy, loss of appetite and muscle aches and pains are symptomatic of a lymph node infection.
Prolonged or rapid enlargement of a lymph node or high-grade fevers should be evaluated by a physician to rule out an underlying illness. Immediate medical attention should be sought for swollen lymph nodes with red streaks around the site, as this may indicate an abscess or infection of the blood.