Infections: What Are They?

An infection occurs when a virus, bacteria, or other microorganism enters the body and causes illness. Infections can affect different organs, tissues, or body systems, causing a wide range of symptoms.

Types of Infections

Infections can be broken down into three major types: bacterial, viral, and fungal. Each type of infection requires different treatment.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria. Common examples include strep throat and urinary tract infections. Treatment typically involves antibiotics.

Viral Infections

Viral infections are caused by viruses. Common examples include the common cold, flu, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Treatment typically involves antiviral medication, rest, and hydration.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are caused by fungi and can affect the skin, nails, and other parts of the body. Common examples include athlete’s foot, ringworm, and yeast infections. Treatment typically involves antifungal medications and creams.

Signs and Symptoms of Infection

The symptoms of a infection depend on the type of infection and it's location in the body. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Swelling or tenderness in a particular area of the body

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.