Bacterial infections should not be confused with viral infections as the two are very different. Bacterial infections are caused by pathogenic bacteria and can take many forms. The type of bacterial infection one gets depends on the body area that has been affected by it. The different type of bacterial infections include bacterial skin infections such as cellulitis, impetigo, boils etc.; stomach infections caused by bacteria such as salmonella, vibrio, clostridium etc.; sexually transmitted bacterial infections such as chlamydia, syphilis, bacterila vaginosis etc.; and other bacterial infections, which include bacterial meningitis, urinary tract infections, otitis media and respiratory tract infections.
The commonest treatment method adopted to treat almost all types of bacterial infections includes the administration of antibiotics - whether it is in the form of tablets or topical ointments. Antibiotics are usually enough to cure bacterial infections altogether. However, for certain types of bacterial infections, vaccines can be used too, which will help prevent the onset of diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, infleunza, typhoid etc.
Irrespective of the type of bacterial infection one has, the doctor will recommend antibiotics as treatment. The treatment process will depend on the type of antibiotic one has been prescribed. For sexually transmitted bacterial infections as well as skin bacterial infections, antibiotic topical ointments will generally be prescribed. The patient simply has to apply this ointment on the affected area once or twice a day, depending on what the doctor prescribes. However, before applying the ointment, patients should make sure that the affected area is clean.
For other types of bacterial infections, a doctor may prescrible oral antibiotic drugs. The patient will have to take these tablets or capsules either once or twice a day, again depending on what the doctor says. The patient will be advised to have these medicines after a meal and one will aslo have to maintain a minimum of a 6 hour gap between one dosage and the next if the medicine has to be had twice a day. The patient may also be asked to have pills that treat stomach problems along with the antibiotics as antibiotics can cause stomach problems. As far as vaccines are considered, these are administered at local clinics and with the help of injections.
Patients who suffer from any type of bacterial infection are eligible to be treated with the help of antibiotics. All healthy individuals are eligible for vaccines.
Pregnant women, patients whose bacterial infection is severe or life-threatening in nature as well as those who are allergic to the chemical compounds present in antibiotics are not eligible for this treatment. For vaccines, there's an age limit. So patients should consult with their doctor first.
Yes, side effects are likely as far as antibiotics are concerned. The commonly experienced side effects are severe allergic reactions, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache and more. Side effects of the vaccine include but are not limited to are mild fever, pain, swelling or redness at the site of injection, fatigue and headache. One should contact their doctor immediately if they experience severe side effects.
One really doesn't have to follow any post treatment guidelines as such in case of bacterial infections. Patients can resume their daily activities even when they are being treated by antibiotics. However, in certain cases, some patients may experience weakness and doctors may advise having electrolytes, vitamin supplements and other energy boosting foods. In the case of vaccines, patients who get woozy should rest. Also, one should make lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of getting bacterial infections.
A typical antibiotic course is 5 days long, and usually the infection subsides completely by the end of those 5 days. However, if the infection is severe, the course maybe of 10 days, thereby doubling the recovery period as well.
The price of antibiotic medicines for bacterial infections range between Rs. 50 to Rs. 100. Vaccines cost around Rs. 600 per shot.
Antibiotics help in the complete cure of the bacterial infection concerned. However, the infection can occur again if the patient does not make lifestyle changes or is exposed to the pathogenic bacteria that caused it again. In the case of vaccines though, the patient will never get the infection in the first place. However, vaccines are not available for all types of infections.
Pathogenic bacteria have the ability to turn resistant to antibiotics over the course of time. Hence, medical science has been looking for an alternative cure and has come up with probiotics as a possible form of treatment for bacterial infections. However, patients should consult with their doctor before choosing this course of treatment.