Bacterial Infections

Bacterial Infections

What is a bacterial infection?

A bacterial infection are caused by pathogenic microbial bacteria. Other forms of infection include staph infections, viral infections, and fungal infections (like yeast infections and ringworm). The vast majority (99%) of bacteria in a human body is harmless or even helpful. In fact, bacteria aids in digestion, provides nutrients to the body, and fights off harmful microbes. Sometimes, though, harmful bacteria will begin to reproduce and cause a bacterial infection.


How do bacterial infections spread?

Bacterial infections can be spread by contact with an infected person (coughing, sneezing, kissing), contaminated surface, or infected animal (pet or pet fleas and ticks). 

How long do bacterial infections last?

Some bacterial infections last longer than others. They can be as short as a few days or can drag on for months. Some are even chronic and come back time and again over the course of a person's life.

How do you treat a bacterial infection?

Bacterial infections are most often treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, bacteria are adaptable and some have developed immunity to certain forms of antibiotics. Viral infections, unlike bacterial infections, cannot be treated with antibiotics. They are sheltered from pharmaceutical medicine, which usually move through your bloodstream. There are a few antiviral medicines available. The good news is that vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases like polio, measles, HPV, the flu, and chickenpox. 

What puts someone at risk for developing a bacterial infection?

The over-use of antibiotics can lead to an immune-system deficiency which makes your body more susceptible to developing all sorts of infections. Additionally, poor nutrition and/or food allergies can sometimes lead to bacterial infections.



National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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