Common Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Occasionally pathogens are able to enter our body and cause disease. There are thousands of infectious diseases. Some diseases are caused by viruses that enter the body and multiply known as viral diseases.

Bacterial Diseases

Different types of bacterial diseases include:

Strep throat- Strep bacteria usually found in the nose and throat and can be spread by contact with mucus from an infected person. Symptoms include sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and fever.

Lyme Disease- This is caused when bitten by an infected tick. Symptoms include a red rash at the site of the bite, fever, chills, and body aches.

Bacterial Meningitis- An infection of the fluid in the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. Symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, and a stiff neck.

Tuberculosis- A highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs that is transmitted when droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze are inhaled. Symptoms may include fatigue, weight loss, mild fever, and a constant cough.

Treating Bacterial Diseases

Your doctor may treat your infection with an antibiotic that kills the bacteria. Using these antibiotics exactly as they are prescribed is very important to prevent the bacteria from developing resistance to the medicine.

Viral Diseases

The common cold- Common cold is really a group of symptoms that is caused by a number of different viruses. Symptoms include sneezing, sore throats, runny noses, coughing, chest congestion, fever, headaches, and muscle aches.

Influenza- The flu is a common viral infection of the upper respiratory system. Influenza is spread by airborne droplets and contact with contaminated objects. High fever, sore throat, headache, and a cough are typical symptoms.

Pneumonia- In elderly or people with heart disease the flu may develop into pneumonia which is a serious infection of the lungs. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or even fungi.

Hepatitis- A group of viruses that infect the liver or inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is a serious disease. Symptoms include fever, nausea, pain in the abdomen, and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin. Hepatitis A is transmitted in human waste and contaminated water or food. Hepatitis B is transmitted trough blood or sexual contact. Hepatitis C is also transmitted in blood, sexual contact, or tattoos and piercings.

Treating Viral Diseases

In most cases there is no particular medicine that can cure the viral infections. Antiviral medications may shorten the length of the infection but the best treatment is lots of rest, well balanced diet, and plenty of fluids.