Common Infections

What are Infections?

Have you ever wondered why some illnesses are caused by certain types of infections? Infections come in various forms and can lead to mild to severe diseases. This blog will discuss the four main types of infections: bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic. By learning about the causes of these infections and gaining an overview of each type, you will be better equipped to understand how to protect yourself and your loved ones from their potentially harmful effects.

Types of Infections

With the vast data available in this world, it can be confusing to understand what types of infections exist and how they can affect your health. This blog post will outline the common types of infections, their symptoms, and how they can be treated or prevented.

  1. Bacterial Infections– Bacterial infections are those caused by bacteria and are generally treated with antibiotics. Common bacterial infections include strep throat, ear infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), food poisoning, and even some STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
  2. Viral Infections–  Unlike bacterial infections which are treated with antibiotics, viral infections are typically more challenging to treat as antibiotics don’t work on them. Some examples of viral infections include chickenpox, shingles, colds & flu, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and yellow fever.
  3. Fungal Infections– Fungal infections occur when a fungus invades the body through inhaling spores or contact with infected soil or animals/people. Examples of fungal infections include athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), jock itch (tinea cruris), ringworm (tinea corporis), and yeast infection (vaginal candidiasis).
  4. Parasitic Infections– Parasitic diseases become prevalent when people have a weakened immune system due to malnutrition or lack of clean water access among other factors which allow pathogens to invade their bodies more easily than a healthy one would usually provide protection from it. Examples include tapeworms, schistosomiasis, malaria, pubic lice, hookworm disease, pinworm disease, etc.

Symptoms of Infections

You can often identify the type of infection from the symptoms. Check them out here:

Type of Infection

General Symptoms

Bacterial

fever, sore throat, abdominal cramping/pain, vomiting/diarrhoea, or skin rash

Viral

fever, body aches, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, congestion, diarrhoea, nausea, loss of appetite, headache, etc.

Fungal

itching/burning sensation on the skin along with red rashes or scaly patches on the skin in areas such as the groin area/inner thighs etc.

Parasitic 

irritation caused by the parasites themselves such as nausea & extreme hunger

Causes of Infections

Infection occurs when germs, such as bacteria or viruses, gain access to a person’s body and begin to reproduce. This can result in mild to severe health consequences, ranging from an itchy rash and fever to organ failure and death. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to understand the causes of infections so that you can take proactive steps to protect your health. Here are some key insights into the possible causes of infections.

  1. Unhygienic Conditions: Poor hygiene is one of the most common causes of infection. Germs can easily spread when surfaces or items like door handles, handrails, and faucet handles are not regularly cleaned with soap and water or disinfectants.
  2. Contaminated Food or Water: Eating food that carries bacteria or viruses, such as undercooked meat or unpasteurized dairy products, can lead to illness if the organisms enter a person’s digestive tract before being eliminated by stomach acids (which usually kill them). Consuming contaminated drinking water is another source of infectious pathogens that can enter a person’s body through their digestive system.
  3. Contact with Infectious Agents: Not only can touching an infected surface increase the risk for illness, but contact with people who have contagious illnesses (such as measles) also puts a person at risk for acquiring an infection directly from another individual via physical contact or respiratory secretions like saliva droplets produced during sneezing/coughing.
  4. Bursts in Sanitation Systems: Any breaks in human waste management and plumbing lines (either from poor construction practises or natural disasters) increase the risk for contamination of water supplies, which facilitate direct ingestion-based transmissions along these lines as well as indirect transmission through vectors such as mosquitoes, which breed in standing sewage waters due to the warmer temperatures present there compared with unpolluted sources like rivers and lakes.

Prevention & Treatment

To prevent any type of infection, it is important to follow hygiene guidelines such as regular hand-washing, covering your mouth while sneezing, avoiding contact with people showing signs of infection, wearing shoes outdoors in public areas, etc. As for treatment options, various medications such as those that control inflammation, anti-viral medications, and anti-bacterial medications depend upon which type of infection is present. In many cases, if caught early enough, these illnesses can be eliminated without using medication-based treatments as well.

When To See a Doctor 

Always schedule a visit with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing, a persistent cough, or coughing up pus, unexplained skin redness or swelling, frequent vomiting and difficulty keeping liquids down, nausea or vomiting that's dehydrating, blood in the urine, vomit, or stool, extreme abdominal pain or stomach cramps, severe headache, a sore throat for more than 2 days, or a cut, incision, or burn that appears to be infected.

Takeaways

There can be many substances in your surroundings that can cause infections. Take the necessary preventive measures and stay hygienic to avoid falling sick. If you catch an infection and it continues for a day or more, do not delay visiting your doctor.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Jubilee Hills. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What's the difference between infectious diseases and noninfectious diseases?

Infectious diseases are caused by harmful organisms like viruses and bacteria that get into your body from the outside environment. When these organisms enter your body, they can lead to an array of illnesses like colds, flu, measles, and HIV. Noninfectious diseases generally result from a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and sometimes even anatomical differences between individuals. Examples of noninfectious diseases include cancer, congestive heart failure, and Alzheimer’s disease.

2. What are the types of infectious diseases?

Viral, bacterial, parasitic, or fungal infections can all cause infectious illnesses. Moreover, there is a subgroup of infectious illnesses called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) that are uncommon.

3. What are the four main types of infections?

As bacteria enter your body and grow, an infection takes place, and a disease results. Bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic illnesses are the four basic categories of infections.

4. Who is most at risk of getting infectious diseases?

You may be more vulnerable if your immune system is compromised or if you travel to areas where certain highly transmissible diseases are prevalent.
1. Those with suppressed or compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients, HIV patients, or those taking certain medications.
2. Children, pregnant women, and adults over the age of 60 are all at risk.
3. Those who have not been immunized against infectious diseases.
4. Employees in the medical field.
5. People who travel to places where they may be bitten by mosquitos carrying pathogens such as malaria, dengue virus, and Zika virus.

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