A Guide To Infections: Their Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Procedures, Costs & Side Effects

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Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Procedure, Cost & Side Effects of Infection
An infection occurs when germs enter the body, increase in number, and cause a reaction of the body.

The root cause of most disease is related to infection in some way. The definite aspect of infection refers to the entry of an unwanted organism within the body which ultimately causes harm to the human body. These organisms are basically parasites that require a separate body to survive. The human body becomes their home to reproduce, maintain and even colonize. These harmful organisms are called pathogens. They are highly efficient, quick to adopt and multiply in number. Fungus, viruses, bacteria, prions combine to form countless types of infections. While some infections are mild and do not pose any threat to life as such, some infections become severe and often life threatening with urgency in treatment.

There are mainly four types of infections that generally affect humans the most. Viral infection caused by viruses is the most common infection and more than 50,000 viral infections have been discovered. The virus invades a body and quickly becomes fixed in a cell. No sooner they enter the cell, the release of genetic material enables them to multiply into the thousands. HPV and EBV, like viruses, force the cell to replicate in an uncontrolled number, resulting in cancer. On the other hand, some common virus infections are common cold, encephalitis, meningitis, gastroenteritis, influenza, HIV, dengue fever and more.

Bacterial microorganism known as prokaryotes occupy their niche and secure their presence throughout the biomass of the earth. Being highly resistant to extreme heat, cold and radioactive waste, bacteria continue to cause diseases such as cholera, pneumonia, diphtheria, skin infections, typhoid, tuberculosis and more.

The variation of fungi in more than 51 million species results in the growth of many infections in the human body such as skin and eye infections, ringworm, valley fever and athlete’s foot.

Prion infection usually does not cause much harm, but if it grows to an abnormal size, it eventually damages the sensitive part of the brain as well as severely affects the nervous system.

What are the four types of infection?

An infection is the result of pathogens invading and causing adverse effects in the body of a host. Depending on the type of invading pathogen, infections are of the following four types:

  • Viral Infections: Caused by pathogenic viruses. For example Covid-19, Encephalitis, Polio, etc.
  • Bacterial Infection: Caused by bacterial infection. Like TB, Typhoid etc.
  • Fungal Infection: Caused by the infection of fungus. Such as candidiasis, athlete’s foot etc.
  • Prion Disease: Caused by non-living protein i.e. prion. For example Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease etc.

What are the five symptoms of infection?

Infection occurs when a pathogen enters the body and causes some unwanted changes in it. The five symptoms of an infection include fever that is most significant, chills and sweating, increased urination, shortness of breath and a sore throat, or a new mouth sore. The presence of any of these symptoms indicates an urgent need to consult a doctor.

How do you know if an infection is serious?

Any infection, such as a wound, can be said to be serious if it shows certain signs and symptoms such as large, dark or jagged edges, separation of the wound edges, any discharge from the wound, fever, pain or Increased swelling, the cause of the wound is biting or injury from a contaminated object and the wound is not cleaned properly. In such situations, medical consultation should be preferred as soon as possible.

How is the infection treated?

Some of the symptoms that usually enter at birth of the infection are pain, swelling or warmth around the affected area, persistent fever, drainage of fluid and often red streaks from the affected area. In case you experience any unusual symptoms in your body, you must get a check-up done by your family doctor. Ignoring the symptoms can be harmful in the long run. It is very important to find out the cause of the infection as some of them if ignored can lead to fatal disease.

The doctor mainly asks for detailed information about the symptoms you are facing. In case of skin problems, he looks at the affected area carefully and may even use a microscope to diagnose the exact cause. The doctor may also ask you to undergo some tests which evaluate the cause and thus help the doctor to prescribe the appropriate treatment for the same. As per the test results, the doctor prescribes antibiotics to fight the infection.

Who is eligible for Infection Treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

People suffering from any unusual symptoms are advised to reach out for a consultation as most diseases have their roots in infections caused by germs and pathogens.

Who is not eligible for Infection Treatment?

People who are fit and healthy and are not suffering from any unusual symptoms are not eligible or need treatment.

When should you go to the hospital for infection?

Any symptomatic change in one’s body i.e. any signs and symptoms related to infection is a reason to go to the hospital. These signs and symptoms include fever, decreased white blood cell count, shortness of breath, new onset of pain, and nasal congestion. The presence of any of these in our body indicates the possibility of danger of infection.

Are there any side effects?

There are different types of infections. At the same time, the medicines prescribed by the doctors come with many side effects. Some of the common side effects of antibiotics are vomiting tendency, nausea, fever, dry throat, white colored patches on the tongue, sudden vaginal itching and discharge and even diarrhea and abdominal pain.

What happens if an infection goes untreated?

If an infection is not treated in time or remains untreated, it can lead to the development of more serious complications or worsening of existing symptoms. Like if we consider the case of bacterial infection, if left untreated, it can lead to sepsis, an extreme condition as well as a very serious complication that can prove fatal.

How long can an infection last?

The length of time the infection persists depends on the cause and severity of the symptoms. For example, if we consider the case of viral infection, the symptoms may continue for 14 days or even more from the day of infection and this is quite common. In case of cough, this period may extend up to 3 weeks or more depending on the severity.

What are the guidelines after treating the infection?

Merely following the treatment prescribed by the doctor does not protect you in the near future. Infections are highly communicable and carry a high chance of reoccurrence. You must maintain certain habits that can help in avoiding any incidence of infection. These include general habits learned in childhood from parents and teachers. Some of them include hand washing, getting vaccinations and avoiding infection, hygiene and cleanliness. Also, you should never share or use other things of others, which remains a major source of spreading the infection. Also, you should take complete rest during the treatment and let your body fight the germs in your body.

How long does it take for the infection to heal?

Mild infections usually take 1 or 2 weeks to clear up. Also, infections in sensitive organs like lungs and kidneys, the healing process becomes longer and persists for longer time till they show some better results.

What is the cost of infection treatment in India?

The cost of the treatment entirely depends on the severity and cause of the condition. In case of mild infection, only consultation fee and medical expenses are concerned, while on the other hand, for severe condition and hospitalization is likely, the treatment is costly.

Are the results of treating the infection permanent?

Most human disease has an underlying cause related to infection. However, most of them can be treated and cured provided it is diagnosed at the right time and exposed to accurate treatment.

What are the treatment options for the infection?

Undoubtedly natural remedies are the best way to cure the disease. They provide treatment without any side effects. Ginger, honey, oil of oregano, colloidal silver, echinacea are some of the natural ingredients providing best healing over any medicine. Everything is very helpful in the treatment of diseases caused by infection. These natural items are best for treating the infection in the early stages, whereas in fatal cases, medication is needed to get it under control immediately.

Summary: An infection is the result of pathogens invading and causing adverse effects in the body of a host. Depending on the type of pathogen invasion, there are four types of infections: bacterial, viral, fungal and prion. Infection usually has five significant symptoms including fever, chills and sweating, increased urination, shortness of breath and sore throat, or a new mouth sore. The presence of any of these symptoms indicates an urgent need to consult a doctor.