Since bacteria are small in size, they can invade a human body without notice. If bad bacteria overgrowth in the body, it can cause different diseases. But there are innate bacteria that are helpful as well, which helps in digesting foods and they are protecting the body against harmful bacteria.
Symptoms of Bacterial Infection
Bacterial infection can happen to anyone. Both children and adults may have a bronchitis bacterial infection, and it can happen to any part of the body such as skin, lungs, intestines, bladder, brain, and many more. When things come to worse, bacterial infection can reach the blood. This condition is called sepsis.
Since bacterial infection is common, it’s symptoms are very general as well. They may include chills. fever, and fatigue.
Localized Symptoms of Bacterial Infection
Aside from the generalized symptoms of this condition, there are localized symptoms that you will only feel in the area where the infection happens. The most common of them are pain, redness, swelling, and organ dysfunction.
Causes of Bacterial Infection
Any person can acquire bacteria in many ways. You can get it from another person, from your environment, or from contaminated food or drinks that you have consumed.
The infection starts when there is a transmission of bacteria. And you are at the high risk of severe bacterial infection if your immune system is weak or you are taking the medication called immunosuppressive.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Bacterial Infection
The diagnosis of bacterial infection will depend on your symptoms’ pattern. When you set an appointment with your doctor and discuss your condition, he will ask you some questions such as the different symptoms that you experienced and the specific area of your body where the localized symptoms occurred.
To verify your diagnosis, your medical team might need to extract a fluid sample from your body and send it to the laboratory to undergo an examination. This is an important step before your doctor before he can prescribe you an antibiotic to treat the infection.
The samples that will be sent to the laboratory depends on the area where bacterial infection is suspected. For example, if your doctor suspects that the infection happens in your bladder or kidney, he will need a urine sample to test and determine whether you have an infection or not.
In some cases, a blood test is done to identify infectious bacteria inside the body. If a person has a bacterial infection, the test will see an increase in the number of white blood cells. This can be determined through a complete blood count or CBC test.
Treatment of Bacterial Infection
Most cases of bacterial infection can be treated without treatment. But some conditions will require a doctor’s appointment and must be treated with antibiotics. A patient may need additional medicines or supportive care for other effects like cough, pain, fever, swelling, and/or dehydration.
When you have been diagnosed with a bacterial infection, you need to undergo the needed treatment immediately. Though this is a rare case, untreated infection can be life-threatening with some patients.
This is the most common and primary treatment for bacterial infection. When your doctor determines that infected area, he will prescribe antibiotics to ease your condition. The kind of antibiotic will depend on the species of bacteria. Though most of the antibiotics available in the market can fight more than one type of bacteria, it cannot go against them all.
Antibiotics can be administered in different ways. You can take your medication orally, topically, or intravenously. If you have an internal infection, your medication may be taken orally or intravenously.
When you are taking prescribed antibiotics, you need to follow every instruction from your doctor. If the medication is intended for skin infection, you should never use it to treat an eye infection. The most important thing is to take your medication on time and with the complete duration as what your doctor had required.
A bacterial infection may come with pain and inflammation. If this happens with your case, your doctor will prescribe pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication. If you experience fever due to the infection, your doctor will recommend a medication that can lower your fever.
Other symptoms such as cough and dehydration must be treated through supportive care.
Surgical treatment is needed if there is a presence of abscess due to infection. The operation is simple if an abscess is located in the skin. But for those that are located in areas such as the brain or intestines, a surgical intervention must be done to remove it safely.
How to Prevent Bacterial Infection
It is possible to prevent bacterial infections if you will observe the following tips:
- Vaccination – most of the bacterial infections can be prevented if you get a shot of necessary vaccines. Some of these infections are tetanus, whooping cough, and bacterial meningitis.
- Moisturize – if you have dry skin, cracks may be developed, and these are the perfect areas for bacteria. To prevent bacterial infection, you need to moisturize your skin all the time.
- Proper Hygiene – to wash away bacteria in your body, you should practice good hygiene every day. You need to wash your frequently especially after bathroom use or before meals. When you have unclean hands, you need to avoid touching your mouth, nose, eyes, and ears. A daily bath and shower can be a big help in washing away harmful bacteria in your skin.
- Don’t share personal items – personal things such as toothbrush and drinking water must not be shared with anyone since it can be a way to transmit bacteria.
- Cook the food correctly – when you are preparing foods at home, you have to cook it with the right temperature. Raw or undercooked foods can lead to food poisoning.
- Clean your wounds – if you have open wounds in your body, you have to clean it as soon as possible and cover with bandage or dressing. When it comes to your wound cover, you need to change it regularly or follow the instructions of your doctor. Make sure that you have clean hands before you touch your wounds and avoid scratching or picking.
- Antibiotic Ointment – you can use one of the antibiotic ointments available in the market to keep the bacteria away from your wounds. When applying the ointment, clean your hands and apply a thin layer to the area.
- Safe Sex – as much as possible, practice safe sex wherever you are. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two of the sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria. To keep yourself safe from these infections, use a condom and undergo a regular STI screening.
Risks of Having Bacteria Infection
You will have a high risk of bacterial infections due to the following:
Skin is known to be the first defense of the body against infection. So if you have cuts or surgical incisions, you are giving the bacteria an entryway to your body. An infected wound or cut will have the following signs:
- redness in the wound area
- the affected area is swelling
- you feel pain and/or tenderness in the wound or the area around it
- experience fever
- slow healing of the wound
- swollen lymph nodes found in your neck, groin, or armpits
When your body is being exposed to heat, chemicals, or radiations, you may develop burns. If you have burned in any part of your body, you may develop complications like a bacterial infection. If the burn goit infected, the symptoms are the following:
- there pain or discomfort of the burn increases
- you can see redness on the burnt area
- the affected area is swelling or warmth
- a bad smell is coming from your burn
In the Body
Many bacterial infections can happen in the body. Below are just some of the common infections that you may already know. There causes and symptoms vary, depending on the type of bacteria that infected the human body.
- Sore Throat
- Urinary Tract Infection or UTI
- Food Poisoning
- Bacterial Meningitis
When to Seek Medical Attention
Bacterial infection may sound simple to many of us. But this condition must undergo treatment if there is a need to. A simple infection can cause your life if you continue to ignore the signs and symptoms. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following:
- difficulty with breathing
- cough that doesn’t go
- skin redness or swelling that you cannot explain
- consistent fever and it gets worse every day
- irregular vomiting
- blood in your urine, stool, or vomit
- severe pain or cramp on your abdomen
- severe headache
- a sore throat that lasts more than 2 days
- infected cut, burn, or incision
With the help of your doctor or medical provider, you can avoid a serious condition as soon as you treat bacterial infection.