Symptoms - Kidney infection

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 – 38 degrees Celsius or above; it may reach 39.5 degrees Celsius
  • 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 other symptoms may include:

  • pain or a burning sensation when peeing
  • a 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 of kidney infection in children

Children with a kidney infection may have the following symptoms:

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

Non-urgent advice: Talk to your GP if you:

  • feel feverish and have pain in your tummy, lower back or genitals that will not go away
  • have symptoms of a UTI that haven't improved after a few days
  • have blood in your pee

Urgent advice: Talk to your GP immediately if:

  • you think your child may have a kidney infection

Kidney infections need fast treatment with antibiotics.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.

Page last reviewed: 24 March 2021
Next review due: 24 March 2024