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Infections: types, causes, symptoms, and medication

An infection occurs when a foreign organism enters our body and then causes a disease. There are many different organisms that can cause an infection, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. You can get an infection from a number of ways like direct contact with an infected person, through contaminated food or water, or even an insect bite.

What are the types of infections?

There are different types of infections, the four most common types of infections are viral infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasitic infections.

  • Viral infections are caused by viruses. Viruses are parasitic and need a host cell in order to survive. So, a virus enters the body and latches onto a cell which then allows it to reproduce. Some examples of viral infections are influenza (the flu), common cold, measles, rubella, chickenpox, rubella, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and COVID (a form of the coronavirus).
  • Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, which is slightly larger than a virus. Bacteria can be found in many places such as soil, water, the surfaces we touch, and even on our bodies. Not all bacteria cause infections, however. The ones that do can cause strep throat, urinary tract infections (UTI), food poisoning (typically caused by E. coli, Salmonella, or Shigella), bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, whooping cough, pneumococcal pneumonia, and Lyme disease.
  • Fungal infections can be caused by organisms such as yeasts and molds. These can be found in moist areas like soil, the bathroom, and even in or on our bodies. Examples of fungal infections are vaginal yeast infection, ringworm, athlete’s foot, fungal meningitis, 
  • Parasitic infections are caused by parasites which live on or in a host organism. The parasite causes damage to the host. Some parasitic infections are pubic and head lice, scabies, leishmaniasis, tapeworm infection, and roundworm infection.

What are the drugs for infections?

The proper medication varies, depending on the kind of infection being treated.

  • Viral infections can be cured with antiviral drugs. Because viruses cannot be killed with antibiotics, antibiotics are not used for viral infections.
  • Bacterial infections, on the other hand, are treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections because they can stop the bacteria from multiplying or can even kill them.
  • Fungal infections are treated using special antifungal medications. The exact kind will depend on the fungal infection you are suffering from.
  • Parasitic infections are treated using specific medications. The exact kind will depend on the parasite that has caused the infection.
Viral Infection

Viral Infection

A viral infection is a large amount of harmful virus inside the body. A virus cannot produce without a host, so it needs to latch onto a host cell in order to multiply.


Tuberculosis is an air-borne bacterial infection. It most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis) but in some cases, can also affect other parts of the body (extrapulmonary tuberculosis) like the brain, lymph nodes, joints, bones, and kidneys.
Protozoal and Parasitic Infestation

Protozoal and Parasitic Infestation

A parasitic infection is an infection that occurs when a parasite enters a body, makes it a host, and causes the host to become sick. Not all parasites can cause a host damage.
Bacterial Infection

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections are infections caused by bacteria. They can be mild, severe, or even deadly. Examples of bacterial infections are whooping cough, strep throat, eye infection, and food poisoning.
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