Types of Infections: How to Protect Against Them

Infections are probably the most common and well-known ailment known to mankind. They occur because certain microorganisms (called pathogens) try to invade our bodies and use them to sustain and grow. And while our immune system does counter most of these pathogens on its own, sometimes we need medical help to identify and treat such pathogens.

Infection-causing pathogens largely belong to three categories: bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These pathogens multiply and mutate like any other living organism, thus getting harder to treat over time. Infection spreads because of their ease of transmission from one host to another through close contact with the infected, exchange of bodily fluids, or contact with contaminated sources.

Common types of infections

1. Viral infection: this is the most common and severe form of infection. Viruses can enter our body and attach themselves to a cell, prompting the cell to make replicas of itself so it can multiply and spread. Most of the infectious diseases like the common cold to much more severe ones like Zika, Polio and the deadliest and most recent one - Covid caused by viruses.

2. Bacterial infections: these are considered dangerous because of the sheer number of bacterial strains found in the environment. They are also resistant to extreme climactic conditions, posing a threat to immunity and treatments. Some of the more severe bacterial infections include cholera, diphtheria, and STIs.

3. Fungal infection: these infections mostly affect the skin and respiratory tract and can cause rashes and pneumonia.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The doctor will first try to diagnose the type of infection based on the symptoms. There will be tests on blood, urine, or other bodily fluids to check for the presence of the suspected pathogens. Once confirmed, they can decide and prescribe the course of medication required for treatment.

Treatment for infection usually depends on the type of pathogen and the severity of the infection. If the infection is caused by a virus, a course of anti-viral medication would be prescribed. Similarly, for bacterial and fungal infections, anti-bacterial or anti-fungal medicines will be used to treat the infection. In some cases, a broad-spectrum antibiotic might be prescribed to counter the symptoms of the infection.


While the treatment for infection is becoming more effective and easier with time, the best way to protect yourself from any infection is to follow basic and proper hygiene. These include washing your hands and feet every time you are outside or touch something unfamiliar. Change your food habits to boost your immune system. You can also maintain separate clothes, towels, brushes, and other items of daily use to minimise the chances of passing on any infection. To prevent STIs, it is necessary to use protection during sexual intercourse, avoid having multiple partners, and get yourself tested at regular intervals. Finally, take vaccines that are prescribed, ensure to take them on time and maintain a record of the same.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Brookefield. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Is it advisable to go about my usual routine if I have an infection?

No. Coming into contact with others while having an infection increases their chances of contracting it. It is advisable to stay at home, take ample rest, and stay hydrated while your immune system counters the infection.

2. Can I get an infection by coming in contact with animals?

Yes. Although animals themselves might not cause infection, they can be hosts to pathogens like fleas and ticks, which might be transmitted to you on contact.

3. Are vaccines mandatory?

While vaccination isn’t mandatory in most cases, it is strongly suggested to use vaccines that create antibodies to help your immune system fight off infection-causing pathogens.

4. I have some antibiotics left over from the last time I had an infection; can I consume them in the future?

No. Each strain and type of pathogen needs to be treated with medication specific to its nature.

5. How long can a person be contagious if they have an infection?

The duration of being contagious depends on which pathogen caused the infection and can range from a few days to a fortnight or more.

Our Doctors

Book an Appointment




Pregnancy Calculator