A bacterial Infection can be any type of disease or illness caused by a type of microbe called bacteria. Microbes are organisms that are tiny which cannot be seen without the use of microscope. These microbes can include fungi, virus, parasites and bacteria as well. Majority of bacteria doesn’t cause disease. They are actually important for good health and are helpful to fight other organisms. Normally, millions of bacteria live on our intestines, skin and in genitalia. A bacterial infection happens when a normally sterile part of the body is invaded by harmful bacteria. An example is the bacteria in the bladder which causes urinary tract infection.
Diagnosing infections is sometimes difficult because the specific signs and symptoms appear rarely. If there is a suspected infection, the first step is to have a culture of urine, sputum and blood. Stool analysis and chest x-rays may also help in diagnosis. Spinal fluid is done if brain infection is suspected.
Rapid breathing, cyanosis, petechial rash, poor peripheral perfusion in children increases the risk of infection to 5 fold. A temperature greater than 40 degrees, clinical instinct, parental concern are also important indicators.
The bacterial infection classic symptoms are heat, swelling, localized redness and pain. One of the bacterial infection hallmark sign is pain in a specific area of the body. For example, if a person accidentally cuts an area of the body and was infected with bacteria, pain happens at the infection site.
· Ongoing extreme fatigue for 2-3 months
· Continuous weight loss
· Spiking fever or low grade fever
· Chills and night sweats
· Pain and vague body aches
Pathogenic bacteria enter the body in different means which includes inhalation through the nose and lungs, sexual contact or ingestion of foods. When bacteria enter the body, the healthy immune system recognizes the bacteria as a foreign invader. The immune system tries to kill the bacteria to stop it from multiplying. But even in a person with healthy immune system, the body isn’t always able to stop it from spreading and multiplying. While the body continuous to reproduce, it emits toxins which are harmful to the body cells and results to bacterial infection symptoms.
Variables involved in the extent, severity and outcome of bacterial infection:
· Entry route of the pathogen and access to body regions of the host
· Intrinsic virulence of the organism
· The quantity of inoculent
· The host’s immune status
Treatment and Prevention
Anti-infective drugs can stop the infection when it attacks the body. Types of infective drugs include: antibiotic or antibacterial, antitubercular, antiviral and antifungal. Depending on the type of infection and severity, the antibiotic can be given orally, in injection or applied topically. Brain infections are commonly treated with antibiotics that are introduced intravenously. Multiple antibiotics decrease the risk of bacterial resistance and increase the efficacy. Antibiotics are only for bacteria and don’t work with viruses. Antibiotics slow down bacteria multiplication or kill the bacteria. Most common antibiotics used are: cephalosporins, penicillin, aminoglycosides, quinolones, macrolides and tetracyclines.
Hand washing is the most effective means to prevent spread of bacteria. Adequate nutrition is essential to boost our immune system.