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What Exactly Happens with a Bacterial Infection

what is a bacterial infection

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Nobody escapes getting infections, even if you are the safest and most hygienic person on earth. Many times, people get infections simply by the luck of the draw, or unluck as it would be in this case. Most insects that people refer to as ‘bugs’ are not microscopic, but the bacteria that cause these infections and are also called bugs that don’t get seen unless under a microscope. Some of them are harmful in ways that the much bigger beetles and earwigs we see all the time. When you get a bacterial infection these are the bacteria that are behind it. So, what is a bacterial infection actually?

Bacteria are pathogens, organisms that can cause disease but don’t always do that. When a bacterial infection occurs, it is because the pathogens are wired to cause trouble. One of the things that make bacteria fundamentally different from viruses is that bacteria reproduce, and when conditions are optimal, they tend to reproduce at a rate that puts rabbits to shame. This is when the signs of the infection start to become visible to the person, when the bacteria are going bananas and taking over.

That’s a preview to any discussion of what is a bacterial infection, but we’ll get more into the workings of them here and also explain that there are different bacterial infections. And often the types of bacterial infections people might get will be related to the way they live their life or where they choose to spend much of their time. It’s an interesting subject, even if people with entomophobia don’t like to even think about anything related to bugs.

The Workings

Gaining access to your body isn’t easy unless you’re allowing it. If we are going to review what is a bacterial infection, then it may make sense to begin at the start. The bacteria need to be provided with a way to get into your body. That can be through a wound or other type of break in the skin, but it can also be through your airways, your eyes, or other openings on the body that aren’t as easily controlled as your mouth. We’ll skip what causes bacterial infections here, and our focus with what is a bacterial infection will instead look at the functional workings of the infection. Why they can grow from something insignificant to something major so quickly.

Bacteria multiply quickly, and what they do to cause the infection itself is they start to take over cells and reorienting for their own aims. Fortunately, your body has an immune system and it takes exception to the hostile takeover and in fighting back against the bugs this is why you get the pain, inflammation, and / or heat that can be part of having a bacterial infection. Impetigo is a good example of this, even though it is a bacterial infection that isn’t nearly as prevalent as it used to be because of the advances in antibiotics. Impetigo works well for our example with what is a bacterial infection.

The bacteria that cause impetigo are know as strep or staph, and the sores around the mouth and nose that are telltale signs of impetigo are the work of the bacteria taking over cells and corrupting them. Then the redness and swelling are the work of the immune system battling the bugs. This is why a medication like Bactroban is great with the way it eliminates the bacteria and lets the immune system triumph like it should. But good immune system health is important if you are to come out of this triumphant.

Different Types, Different Locations, Different Battles

This battle between bugs and the white blood cells sent out by the immune system can be waged nearly anywhere in your body from toes to the brain right at the top of your head. Our next focus for what is a bacterial infection is to look at the different bacterial infections. Gastrointestinal infections are likely the most immediately unpleasant of them, and who hasn’t had a bout of food poisoning at some point in their life? But if we are going to relate to being in gastro heck your average case of food poisoning will have nothing on botulism – the handiwork of one of the worst bacteria, Clostridium botulinum.

Next up for what is a bacterial infection are respiratory tract infections like bacterial pneumonia and then bacterial throat or ear infections. Sexually transmitted infections are also caused by bad bacteria and extremely unpleasant. Plus, they’re different in that they don’t just happen to the less fortunate by chance, and we don’t need to get into that. Knowing what is a bacterial infection may lead you to make better choices and be proactive about preventing them to the best of your ability.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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