Radiation sickness (also called acute radiation syndrome) happens when a person is exposed to large amounts of radiation all at once.
Exposure to small amounts of radiation—like from an X-ray or CT scan—doesn't cause any symptoms. But exposure to large amounts of radiation all at once—like from a nuclear accident—may cause radiation sickness and death.
Symptoms of radiation sickness may include:
People who have been exposed to large amounts of radiation and have these symptoms need to see a doctor right away.
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