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  Bacterial infection

Many illnesses are caused by infection caused by either bacteria or viruses. Bacteria are tiny single-celled organisms, and are among the most successful life forms on the planet. They range in habitat from deserts to icy slopes. Bacteria can be beneficial, but are also responsible for a range of illnesses. Many bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, although some strains are becoming more and more antibiotic-resistant.

Bacterial infection Inflammation
Bacterial infection


A virus is an even tinier microorganism that only reproduces inside a host's living cell. It is very difficult to kill a virus, and some of the most serious communicable diseases are viral in origin.

To cause disease, bacteria have to get into your body. The range of access routes for bacteria includes:

Cuts
Contaminated food or water
Close contact with an infected person
Contact with the feces of an infected person
Breathing in the exhaled droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes
Indirectly, by touching contaminated surfaces.


Viruses are spread from one person to another by:

Coughs
Sneezes
Vomits
Bites from infected animals or insects
Exposure to infected bodily fluids
Handling pets and animals is also a way for germs to be taken in by mouth.


Most bacteria move around with the aid of small lashing tails or by whipping their bodies from side to side. Under the right conditions, a bacterium reproduces by dividing. Each 'daughter' cell then divides in two, and so on, so that in just eight hours, a single bacterium can bloom into a population of some 500,000 or more. If the conditions don't suit the bacteria, some morph into a dormant state. They develop a tough outer coating and await the change of conditions. These hibernating bacteria are called spores. Spores are harder to kill than active bacteria because of their outer coating.

The body reacts to pathogenic bacteria by increasing local blood flow, and sending in antibodies from the immune system to attack and destroy the bacteria. Serious infections can be treated with antibiotics, which work by disrupting the bacterium's metabolic processes.

Although viruses can exist outside a host cell, they can't reproduce. Once inside a host cell, a virus either lays dormant for some time or starts reproducing immediately. The tough outer coating of a virus dissolves when inside the host cell. The virus then replicates its genetic material until the host cell is so full that it bursts. The released viruses then invade other host cells.

Viruses pose a considerable challenge to the body's immune system because they hide inside cells. This makes it difficult for antibodies to reach them. However, special immune system cells, called T-lymphocytes, can recognize and kill cells containing viruses, since the surface of infected cells is changed when the virus begins to multiply. Many viruses, when released from infected cells, will be effectively knocked out by antibodies, produced in response to infection or previous immunization.

Antiviral drugs work by interfering with the viral enzymes. Antiviral drugs are currently only effective against a few viral diseases, such as influenza, herpes, hepatitis B and C and HIV, but research is ongoing.

It is possible to vaccinate against many serious viral infections such as measles, mumps, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B. However, some viruses - such as those that cause the common cold - are capable of mutating from one person to the next. Vaccination for these kinds of viruses is difficult, because the viruses have already changed their form by the time vaccines are developed.

Things to remember:

Many human illnesses are caused by infection with either bacteria or viruses. Most bacterial diseases can be treated with antibiotics, although antibiotic-resistant strains are starting to emerge. Viruses pose a challenge to the body's immune system because they hide inside cells. It is possible to be vaccinated against some of the major disease-causing viruses (such as measles and polio), as well as bacterial diseases such as Hemophilus influenza Type b (Hib), tetanus and whooping cough.

Croup :: Peritonitis :: Sinusitis :: Tonsillitis



Amoxicillin tablets

Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin, also known as Amoxil, and several other brand names, is a systemic antibacterial, and is used to treat infections caused by bacteria.

Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medi more...

Acyclovir

Acyclovir

Acyclovir is one of a class of medicines known as antivirals. Acyclovir is used to treat infections caused by certain viruses. Topical acyclovir is used to treat the symptoms of herpes infections of the skin, mucous membranes, and genitals. If you ar more...

Valacyclovir pill

Valacyclovir

Valacyclovir is used to treat herpes zoster (shingles) in immunocompetent patients; treatment of first-episode genital herpes; episodic treatment of recurrent genital herpes; suppression of recurrent genital herpes and reduction of heterosex more...

Valtrex capsules

Valtrex

Also called Valacyclovir, Valtrex is used to treat the symptoms of shingles, a herpes virus infection of the skin, and to treat and prevent genital herpes infections. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or more...

Azithromycin

Azithromycin

Azithromycin belong to a class of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. Azithromycin kills bacteria in the body hence, it is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as respiratory infections, skin infections, ear infect more...

Elimite

Elimite

Elimite is the brand name for the medication permethrin a topical cream. Nix Cream Rinse and Acticin are other brand names for this same medication. This drug is a pediculicide and a scabicide, which means it treats lice. A pediculicide is a chemical a more...

Cipro tablets

Cipro

Cipro, also called Ciprofloxacin, are part of a group of medicines called Fluoroquinolones, which are used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. They work by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. Be sure to tell your more...

Levaquin tablets

Levaquin

Levaquin, or Levofloxacin, belongs to the class of medicines known as antibiotics. It is used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. Levaquin is also used to treat anthrax. Levaquin works by killing bacteria or preventing their more...

Zithromax tablets

Zithromax

Zithromax, also called Azithromycin, is used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. It is also used to prevent Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) disease in patients infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It works more...

Levofloxacin pills

Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin is in a group of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones that works by fighting off bacteria in the body. It is used to treat bacterial infections that cause bronchitis, pneumonia, chlamydia, gonorrhea, skin infections, urinary tract infections, more...

Cephalexin tablets

Cephalexin

Cephalexin is one of a group of Cephalosporins are used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria. They work by killing bacteria or by preventing their growth. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or more...

Cefuroxime tablets

Cefuroxime

Cefuroxime is an antibiotic in a class of drugs called cephalosporin. Cefuroxime fights bacteria in the body. It is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, skin infections, g more...

Veetids tablets

Veetids

Veetids, or Penicillin V, is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. It works by killing bacteria or by preventing its growth. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, preservatives, or dyes. Also more...

Tamiflu pills

Tamiflu

Tamiflu is the brand name for the generic drug oseltamivir. This drug is used to block the progression of the viruses which cause influenza A and B. This drug is classified as an antiviral medication. Tamiflu, an antiviral medication, needs to be tak more...

Bactrim tablets

Bactrim

Bactrim, also known as a Sulfonamide and Trimethoprim combination, is used to prevent and treat infections. They are antibacterial medications, but will not work on the cold or flu viruses. Be sure to tell your doctor of an more...

Biaxin tablets

Biaxin

Biaxin, also known as Clarithromycin, is used to treat bacterial infections. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. It is also used to treat and prevent Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC), and to treat duodenal ulcers caused by Helicobact more...

Cephalosporin

Cephalosporin

Cephalexin is an antibiotic in a class of drugs called cephalosporins that works by fighting bacteria in the body. This medicine is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as respiratory tract infections (bronchitis, tonsillitis, e more...

Clarithromycin tablets

Clarithromycin

Clarithromycin is in a class of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. It kills bacteria in your body also termed as a bactericidal drug. It is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, tonsillitis a more...

Albenza pills

Albenza

Albenza is a brand name prescription drug. The generic name is albendazole. Albenza is prescribed to treat parasitic infections, specifically worms. Albenza cures infections caused by the dog tapeworm and the pig tapeworm. This medication is classifie more...

Amoxil tablets

Amoxil

Amoxil, also known as Amoxicillin, is a systemic antibacterial, and is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, preservatives, or dyes. Also, tell your doct more...

Ampicillin

Ampicillin

Ampicillin is an antibiotic in the class of drugs called penicillins. Ampicillin fights bacteria. Ampicillin is used to take care of a variety of infections, such as tonsillitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, and infections of the intestines such as salmonella (food poisoning). more...

Augmentin tablets

Augmentin

Augmentin, a combination of Amoxicillin and Clavulanate, is one of a group of medicines called Penicillins and Beta-Lactamase inhibitors that are used to treat bacterial infections. Augmentin works by killing or preventing the growth of bacteria. Beta-Lac more...

Bactroban

Bactroban

Also known as Mupirocin, Bactroban is used to treat bacterial infections. It works by killing bacteria or preventing the growth of bacteria. It is also used to treat infected traumatic skin lesions. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you hav more...

Cefprozil tablets

Cefprozil

Cefprozil is an antibiotic in a class of drugs called cephalosporins. Cefprozil fights bacteria in the body. Cefprozil is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, and skin infections. more...

Ceftin tablets

Ceftin

Ceftin, also called Cefuroxime, is one of a group of Cephalosporins are used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria. They work by killing bacteria or by preventing their growth. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have w more...

Cefzil tablets

Cefzil

Cefzil, also called Cefprozil, is one of a group of Cephalosporins are used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria. They work by killing bacteria or by preventing their growth. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it more...

Ciprofloxacin tablets

Ciprofloxacin

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic in a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones that works by fighting bacteria in the body termed as bactericidal agents. It is used to treat different types of bacterial infections such as infections in the respiratory tract, more...

Ery-Tab tablets

Ery-Tab

One of the Erythromycins, Ery-Tab is used as an Antiacne agent, an Antibacterial, and as a preoperative Bowel Preparation. They treat many kinds of infections. Erythromycins are also used to prevent strep infections in certain patients who may be allergic more...

Erythromycin

Erythromycin

Erythromycin is in a group of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. Erythromycin fights bacteria in the body by killing them and attacking their cell walls (bactericidal). It is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections. It will not treat more...

Eurax

Eurax

Eurax is the brand name for the topical medication crotamiton. Eurax is used to treat scabies, meaning it is a scabicide. A scabicide kills scabies. Scabies is a contagious infection that is caused by a tiny mite or insect called Sarcoptes scbiei. E more...

Macrobid capsule

Macrobid

Macrobid, or Nitrofurantoin, belongs to the family of medicines called anti-infectives, and is used to treat infections of the urinary tract. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, preservatives, or more...

Metronidazole

Metronidazole

Metronidazole is used to treat infections. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, preservatives, or dyes. Tell your doctor immediately if you are, or become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Also, tell more...

Mupirocin topical

Mupirocin topical

Mupirocin is a topical antibiotic. This medicine prevents bacteria from growing on your skin or used to treat infections of the skin such as impetigo (streptococcal infection) or secondarily infected traumatic lesions e.g. small lacerations, sutured woun more...

Nitrofurantoin

Nitrofurantoin

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic. It fights off bacteria in the body. Indications: treat urinary tract infections due to susceptible strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and certain susceptible strains of Klebsiella, Enterobacter and more...

Penicillin

Penicillin

Penicillin V is a systemic antibacterial, and is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, preservatives, or dyes. Also, tell your doct more...

Tetracycline

Tetracycline

Tetracycline is the generic name for the drug that is branded as Brodspec, Emtet-500, Panmycin, Sumycin, and Tetracap. It is commonly referred to by its generic name, not its brand names. Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to fight bacterial infe more...

Trimox

Trimox

Trimox is a systemic antibacterial, and is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, preservatives, or dyes. Also, tell your doctor of any other medications more...

Vermox

Vermox

Vermox is the brand name for the generic medication mebendazole. Vermox is an antihelmintic, that is an anti-worm medication. It is used to rid the body of whipworm, pinworm, hookworm and roundworm. It also treats the infections that are caused by a co more...

Zovirax

Zovirax

Zovirax is the brand name for acyclovir. Acyclovir is medication that is injected and used to treat the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can defeat the infection. Acyclovir is an antiviral drug, it does not cure herpes, but decreas more...




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