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Bacterial Infection Symptoms

Safeguard your health by recognizing bacterial infection symptoms.

Bacterial infection symptoms of the respiratory tract and the blood often include fever. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Bacterial infection symptoms of the respiratory tract and the blood often include fever.

Many types of bacteria can invade the human body and cause a host of infections, affecting the respiratory tract, urinary tract, digestive tract and more. Bacterial infection symptoms vary depending on bacteria type and the site of the infection. This article outlines some of the major categories of bacterial infection and the bacterial infection symptoms of each.

Major categories of bacterial infections include those of the respiratory tract, urinary tract, digestive tract, nervous system and blood. These infections can occur suddenly with little or no warning.

Respiratory Tract Infections

Three common types of respiratory tract infections are sinusitis, bronchitis and strep throat. A fever is a common symptom of these illnesses. A sinusitis sufferer's bacterial infection symptoms might also include facial pain, headache and thick or discolored nasal discharge. Bacterial infection symptoms of bronchitis include cough (dry at first, but later accompanied by thick mucus), fatigue, and chest pain or tightness. When bacteria invade the throat and tonsils, resulting in strep throat, the patient will experience bacterial infection symptoms such as severe sore throat and pain upon swallowing.

Urinary Tract Infections

Bladder infections, kidney infections and infections of the prostate are common types of urinary tract infections. Bacterial infection symptoms associated with these illnesses include pain when urinating, stomach pain and a frequent or urgent need to urinate.

Digestive Tract Infections

Bacteria can cause uncomfortable - and sometimes dangerous - stomach illnesses like gastroenteritis, botulism, food poisoning and Salmonella poisoning. An unlucky person who has contracted a digestive tract infection might suffer from symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Nervous System Infections

Bacterial infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord is called bacterial meningitis, which can result in brain damage and even death if not properly treated. Anyone with the following symptoms should seek medical help immediately: a stiff, painful neck; joint or muscle pain; stomach cramps; light sensitivity and drowsiness.

Blood Infections

Bacteria from an infection in the body that travel to the bloodstream can lead to a serious blood infection called sepsis. The patient will have bacterial infection symptoms like fever, severe shaking or chills, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate and breathing, confusion and dizziness. The populations most at risk for sepsis are the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.

If you have any bacterial infection symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Harmful bacteria can multiply quickly in the body, causing an infection to spread. Antibiotics are the treatment of choice for bacterial infections, as they combat infections by killing or slowing the growth of harmful bacteria in the body. There are many different kinds of antibiotics, so your doctor will carefully choose the one that is most effective at treating your particular infection.

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