The Different Types of Infections

An infection occurs when foreign organisms (pathogens) enter and cause harm to a person’s body. These infectious pathogens use the human body for sustainability and reproduction. Pathogens can initiate quick multiplication and adaptation techniques. Examples of pathogens are viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

Viral infections

Viral infections are brought about by viruses. Five thousand out of the possible millions of virus types existing have been identified. A virus invades the host and attaches itself to a cell. The virus releases genetic material that causes them to replicate, thereby multiplying the virus. New viruses are released as the cells die, thus infecting the new cells.

Not all viruses destroy host cells, but they change the cell function. For instance, viruses like the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) force cells to replicate uncontrollably, potentially leading to cancer.

Some of the infections caused by viruses include the common cold from coronavirus, rhinovirus, and adenovirus. Herpes viruses and enteroviruses cause meningitis and encephalitis. Skin infections and warts are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and the human papillomavirus (HPV), whereas the Nova virus causes gastroenteritis.

Other diseases or conditions caused by viruses include hepatitis C, polio, AIDS, Ebola, dengue fever, Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), swine flu (H1N1), and influenza.

Most treatments for viral infections aim to relieve patients of the symptoms, as the immune system tries to fight the virus on its own. Prevent viral infections by getting a flu shot, washing your hands before eating, and avoiding being around sick people who have infections.

Bacterial infections

A bacterium is a single-celled microorganism. The Earth’s biomass is said to be made up of bacteria, estimated to be about one nonillion (comprising of thirty zeros), but only a few are pathogenic. Some bacteria exist naturally in the human body; these “good bacteria” help fight harmful bacteria. Bacteria have different shapes or forms: spiral, spherical, and rod-like shapes.

Cocci are spherical-shaped bacteria and are usually the easiest to treat. Rod-shaped bacteria are called bacilli, and the spiral ones are coiled bacteria, also known as spirilla.

Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, but some strains can survive, thus making them resistant. You can prevent bacterial infection by washing your hands, observing high standards of hygiene, avoiding contact with people who have contagious diseases, and sanitizing surfaces you frequently come in contact with.

Fungal infections

A fungus is a multicellular parasite that can decompose (using enzymes) and feed on organic matter. They reproduce through the spreading of single-celled spores. Fungus species are estimated at approximately 51 million species.

A rash is the main symptom of a fungal infection. Other infections may include athlete’s foot, ringworm, valley fever, and some eye infections. People with a weak immune system and those who have used antibiotics for a long time are more likely to contract a fungal infection. You can prevent fungal infections by wearing breathable underwear, avoiding hot baths, and refraining from wearing wet and loose clothes.

Infections are caused by the existence of foreign bodies (pathogens) into the human body. The different types of infections include parasitic, viral, fungal, protozoan, and bacterial infections. They are classified according to the nature of the organism that causes them.