An infection is a destructive colonization of the host by a parasite species. The parasite seeks the resources of host in order for them to reproduce resulting to disease. Infections are considered to be caused by microparasites or microscopic organisms such as bacteria, virus, prions and viroids. Larger microorganisms like fungi and macroparasites can also cause infection.


· Continuous weight loss

· Extreme fatigue for 2 to 3 months

· Spiking or low grade fever

· Chills and night sweats

· Pain and body aches

Viral and Bacterial Comparison of Symptoms

Infection Both viral and bacterial infections have symptoms of fever, malaise and chills. It is important to identify the cause of infection between the two because viral infections are not cured by antibiotics.

Viral infections, in general, are systemic which means that they involve more than one part of the body or other body systems at the same time. But they can be local as well like in conjunctivitis and herpes. There are only few painful viral infections like herpes. The pain is usually described as burning or itchy. The cause is pathogenic virus.

Bacterial infection has classic symptoms of heat, redness, swelling and pain. The hallmark sign of bacterial infection is pain in a specific body part. If you have a scratch that was infected, pain will be felt in the infected site. Bacterial ear infection occurs only in one ear. A cut with liquid milky discharge and pus is infected bacterially. The cause is pathogenic bacteria.

The Infection Cycle

Infections have a chain of events for infection to occur. The events have several steps: the infectious agent, the host or reservoir, entering to the susceptible host, exit to the host and transmission to the new host. For further infection to develop, infection cycle should be in chronological order. Health care providers understand these steps so they target the infection and inhibit its development.


The infecting parasite or organism must leave the primary reservoir and cause infection elsewhere in order for them to survive and repeat the infection cycle. There are a lot of potential routes for transmitting infection. It can be either direct contact or indirect contact.

Direct contact happens when a person comes in contact with the host or reservoir. This can be touching the infected body fluids, drinking contaminated water or bitten by a deer tick. Direct contact can also include inhalation of infecting organisms by coughing or sneezing. Another direct contact transmission is through oral, anal and vaginal sex.

Indirect contact means touching the furniture, toys, door knobs and personal products of an infected person. Consuming foods and fluids that are contaminated is another means of indirect contact.

Treatment and Prevention

There are possible treatment and prevention to stop the infection cycle. This is through adequate hygiene, sanitary environment maintenance and health education.

Anti-infective drugs such as antibiotics, antiviral, antifungal and antitubercular drugs suppress infection. It can be administered by mouth, topically or intravenously depending on the infection extent and severity. Sometimes, if drug resistance is known, multiple drugs are used to stop drug resistance and increase drug effectiveness. Antibiotics only work for bacterial infection and have no effect on viral ones.

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