Understanding the causes of infection

Topics: Bacteria, Immune system, Virus Pages: 5 (1202 words) Published: October 21, 2014
Understanding the Causes of Infection
1.1 Identify the differences between bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Bacteria are a living cell organism that can survive inside our body and other non living objects as well. There are both good and bad bacteria’s and the good bacteria is known to helps fight against the bad bacteria that makes its way into our bodies. According to www.righthealth.com, less than 1% of bacteria are actually harmful to us. In fact, we couldn’t survive without bacteria in our body. Bacterial infection is described as an imbalance of bacteria that can cause harm to our bodies. It occurs when the harmful bacteria enter our body through contaminated, non pasteurized or expired foods; cuts or sores on our skin; and even through open passages such as eyes, ears, teeth or genitals. Bacterial infections could be harmful to us because it produces toxins which damage surrounding cells. Most bacterial infections are generally in one single area of the body and are characterized by pain and some swelling. The human body is not capable of fighting off most bacterial infections so they can mainly be treated with antibiotics. A viral infection is a type of infection by a virus. It is one in which it is spreaded by a virus that is pathogenic to human beings. They are much smaller than bacteria and it is much more difficult to kill a virus than it is to kill bacteria. A virus can’t grow or exist without any host cells. It could cause illnesses as minor as the common cold or as severe as AIDS. Unlike Bacterial Infections, antibiotics do not kill viruses and the use of them for viral infections could lead to an antibiotic resistance. There are only a few antiviral medications, the best thing to do when facing a viral infection is let it run its course. A fungal infection could affect many parts of the body and can be of the more difficult pathogen types to treat. Healthy individuals have a very high level of immunity to fungi and most fungal infections are mild and self limiting. A fungal infection could be considered easy to treat and harmless. Very common types of fungal infections are athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm and yeast infections. People who are mainly at risk for fungal infections are those who are taking strong antibiotics for a long period of time. Antibiotics kill bacteria and that includes the good bacteria as well. This could alter the balance of the microorganisms in the mouth, vagina, intestines and other places in the body. It can typically result in an over growth of fungus. People with a weakened immune system are more likely to develop a fungal infection. This could include people with HIV/AIDS, people who are taking steroid medications, and people who are on chemotherapy. Fungal infections can be treated with a treatment plan that best fits the specific type of fungal infection. A parasite infection, which is the worse of them all, is a contamination of one organism with another living organism that then starts to feed or live in the initial organism. With humans, this typically means infections with very large parasites that can be seen. The most common of them are tapeworms. When people have parasitic infections they become extremely sick because their bodies are not suppose to be a host to organisms of these types. These organisms can cause great harm to our bodies including death if they are not removed. It is very easy to get a parasitic infection from untreated drinking water, uncooked meats, raw fruits and vegetables or even having direct contact with parasites through animal droppings. A parasitic infection affects the gastrointestinal tract and it may cause flu like symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea for long periods of time. Tapeworms don’t usually cause flu like symptoms but they survive causing other problems. They survive by eating away part of the foods that people consume and this could lead to severe malnutrition. In order to...
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