Common Infections

You may get an infection if a microorganism enters your body and uses it to reproduce and sustain itself. The microscopic organisms that cause infections are pathogens, which can grow in your body quickly. Examples of such microscopic organisms are viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Infections might develop in any part of your body and spread to other parts. You might get a fever and other health issues because of an infection. 

Types of Infections

There are four most common and dangerous types of infections:

  • Viral infections: Scientists have identified only 5000 types of viruses. A viral infection is caused by a pathogen named a virus. A virus spreads infection by invading a host's body and attaching itself to a cell. On entering the cell, it multiplies and kills the host cell leading to the birth of more viruses. Viral infections include rhinovirus, adenovirus, coronavirus, encephalitis, meningitis, gastroenteritis, Zika virus, HIV, Ebola, influenza, and dengue fever.
  • Bacterial infections: Not all bacteria cause infections. Certain good bacteria in your body prevent harmful bacteria from causing sickness. However, certain bacterial diseases include diphtheria, bubonic plague, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, tuberculosis, and typhus. Certain bacterial infections include pneumonia, eye infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), food poisoning, sinusitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Fungal infections: A fungal infection is caused when fungi reproduce in the host body by spreading spores. Fungal infections might develop in the upper layers of your body and progress deeper. Fungal infections include histoplasmosis, candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, valley fever, and certain eye infections. An example of a fungal infection on the skin is a rash.
  • Prion disease: Prions affect the brain and nervous system. They lead to degenerative brain diseases. Prion infections include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease.

Symptoms of Infections

The symptoms of an infection are:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • New cough or a change in the existing cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stiff neck
  • Unusual vaginal irritation or discharge
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Swelling or redness in any area
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nasal congestion
  • Increased urination

Causes of Infections

The factors that cause an infection are:

  • Skin contact
  • Fecal contact
  • Consuming contaminated water or food
  • Inhaling pathogen-carrying droplets or particles
  • The transfer of infected fluids from the body
  • Touching an object already touched by an infected person

When to See a Doctor?

You should visit a doctor when:

  • You are having trouble breathing
  • You have been bitten by an animal
  • Have fever accompanied by severe headache
  • Experience vision problems all of a sudden
  • Have a cough for more than a week
  • Have swelling or rash

Treatment of Infections

The treatment of an infection depends on the type of pathogen causing the infection:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are grouped under similar types. Certain bacteria are particularly resistant to some classes of antibiotics. Your treatment can be easier if your doctor knows the type of bacteria infecting you. In some instances, it is difficult to identify the pathogen. For example, pneumonia might be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungi, or parasite.
  • Antivirals: Antiviral drugs have been invented to treat certain infections such as HIV/AIDS, Herpes, Influenza, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
  • Antifungals: A topical antifungal medicine can treat nail and skin infections caused by fungi. You will be treated with oral antifungal medication if the fungal infection has affected your lungs or mucous membranes. Serious cases of fungal infections require intravenous antifungal medicines.
  • Anti-parasitics: Certain diseases like malaria are caused by parasites. Most infections caused by parasites have medicines, while some have become resistant to medicines.


Infections caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi require treatment to avoid life-threatening conditions. The most common symptoms of an infection are high fever and headaches. Your doctor will treat your infection according to the pathogen that has caused the infection. Therefore, you must visit a doctor for diagnosis when you experience any symptoms of an infection.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Amritsar - Abadi Court Road. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What should be done if you experience symptoms of an infection?

You should visit a doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of an infection, including high fever, headaches, chills and sweats, a skin rash, swelling, or a new persistent cough.

2. How can I prevent an infection?

You can avoid spreading germs by washing your hands more often with soap or a cleanser, avoiding direct contact with handkerchiefs or napkins, washing and covering all cuts, and getting yourself examined in case of a bite by an animal.

3. What are the five risk factors for infections?

The five risk factors for infections are weak immune systems, older age, chronic diseases, malnutrition, and lack of basic sanitary practices such as washing hands.

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