Bacterial infections come from contact with bacteria microbes, which are single-celled creatures that are invisible to the naked eye. Bacteria can survive in various conditions, including heat, cold, and the human body. Bacteria are found everywhere, from subways to soil, and are mostly harmless to humans-in fact, the human body contains large amounts of bacteria that are necessary for maintaining proper health. Still, exposure to bacteria can lead to serious diseases, including bacterial infections such as strep throat and tuberculosis.
Bacterial infections can take many different forms, with some of the most common being caused by Staphylococcus (staph infections), Streptococcus (which causes strep throat and pneumonia), and E. Coli. Some bacterial infections can result in the development of chronic illnesses, while others cause only acute illnesses, whose symptoms gradually disappear. Below are listed some of the most common symptoms. Note that this list is not complete.
Bacteria are almost omnipresent in daily life, and often find their way into the human body without being noticed. Once inside the body, they may damage cells by stealing iron from them, breaking them down to obtain nutrients, or producing toxins. While there are many measures, like hand-washing and avoiding contact between the mouth and hands, it's often difficult to avoid contact with bacteria.
Doctors can usually recognize the physical symptoms of a bacterial infection, but since viral infections can often produce similar symptoms, a blood or urine test may be called for to test for the presence of bacteria in these fluids. Bacterial infections are often distinguished from viral infections by their tendency to persist longer and produce higher fevers.
Because the human body is very adept at fighting off diseases, treatments for bacterial infections usually include measures that aid the body in going about its normal work. Some of these treatments include antibiotics, which either kill bacteria or keep them from reproducing.
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