Infections

When microbes or microorganisms enter the body, spread and cause harm, an infection has occurred. A variety of different kinds of infections exist. When it comes to bacteria, some types are actually beneficial for the body. Even so, infectious bacteria can multiply quickly and lead to illness.

Types of infections and Treatment

Strep throat, staph infections and E. coli are all examples of bacterial infections. Antibiotics are used to treat bacteria-based illnesses. Viral infections are different in that they cannot be eliminated with antibiotics. These types of illnesses are caused by exposure to a virus. HIV and influenza (the flu) are two examples of viral infections. While antibiotics are ineffective in treating them, medications are often used to manage symptoms. Some viral infections improve with antiviral medications. Vaccinating against illnesses like the flu can help prevent infection. The flu is a respiratory illness that can spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Fungal infections are usually treated with topical creams that are applied directly to the infected area. These illnesses include athlete’s foot and yeast infections. Protozoan infections are caused by harmful parasites. Some are visible with the naked eye, while others can only be seen with a microscope. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), malaria is the most deadly parasitic infection. It occurs after being bitten by an infected mosquito. It can be fatal and is most common in Africa, South Asia, and South and Central America. Trichomoniasis, which is a common parasitic infection, is transmitted sexually. MRSA is another infection that’s caused by a type of antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. An infected person typically develops a skin irritation. Some cases of MRSA are fatal. A May 2014 study found that commercial airliner cabins can support the growth of harmful bacteria for up to one week. Seat-pockets and armrests were the most heavily contaminated surfaces.

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