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The symptoms of a kidney infection usually develop quite quickly over a few hours or days.

Common symptoms include:

  • pain and discomfort in your side, lower back or around your genitals
  • high temperature – 38C (100.4F) or above; it may reach 39.5C (103.1F)
  • shivering or chills
  • feeling very weak or tired
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • diarrhoea

You may have other symptoms if you also have a urinary tract infection (UTI) such as cystitis.

These additional symptoms may include:

  • pain or a burning sensation when peeing
  • need to pee suddenly or more often than usual
  • blood in your pee
  • smelly or cloudy pee
  • pain in your lower tummy
  • pain in your genitals

In older people, a kidney infection may cause confusion.

Symptoms in children

Children with a kidney infection may have the following symptoms:

  • smelly pee
  • blood in their pee
  • wetting the bed
  • a high temperature and feeling unwell (they may complain of tummy ache)
  • vomiting and/or not feeding well

A child younger than 2 with a kidney infection may only have a high temperature, without any other obvious symptoms.

When to see your GP

See your GP if you feel feverish and you have pain in your tummy, lower back or genitals that won't go away.

You should also see a GP if you have symptoms of a UTI that haven't improved after a few days, or if you have blood in your pee.

Contact your GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.

Kidney infections require prompt treatment with antibiotics.