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Infection: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021

What is the treatment?

The root cause for most of the illness is anyhow related to infection. The definitive aspect of infection speaks the entry of an unwanted organism within the body that ends up causing harm in the human body. These organisms are basically parasites who need a different body for survival. The human body turns to be their habitat to reproduce, sustain and even colonize. These harmful organisms are called pathogens. These are extremely efficient and swift in adopting and multiplying in number. Fungus, virus, bacteria, prions combine to form countless types of infection. Where some of the infections are mild and do not cause any such threat to life, some of the infection turns out to be severe and often life-threatening accompanied by immediacy in treatment.

There are mainly four types of infections that generally affect human most commonly. Virus infection caused by a virus is one the most common infection and more than 50,000 virus infections has been discovered. The virus invades into a body and quickly gets fixed in a cell. No, soon they enter the cell, the release of genetic material enables them to multiply into thousands. Virus-like HPV and EBV replicates cell forcefully to an uncontrolled number that results in the birth of cancer. On the other hand, some of the common virus infections are common cold, encephalitis, meningitis, gastroenteritis, influenza, HIV, dengue fever and more.

Bacterial microorganism known as prokaryotes tends to occupy its space and secures its presence in the entire biomass of the earth. Bacteria being highly resistant to extreme heat, cold and radioactive waste remains the cause of diseases like cholera, pneumonia, diphtheria, skin infection, typhoid, tuberculosis and lot more.

The variation of fungus in more than 51 million species results in the growth of numerous infection in a human body like skin and eye infection, ringworm, valley fever, and athlete’s feet.

Prion infection does not usually lead to much harm but if increases in abnormal shape ultimately result in damaging sensitive part of the brain and at the same time effects the nervous system severely.

What are the four types of Infection?

An Infection is a result of the invasion of pathogens into a host’s body and causing an adverse effect. Depending on the type of pathogen invading, Infections are of following four types:

  1. Viral Infections: caused due to the pathogen virus. e.g Covid-19, encephalitis, polio, etc.
  2. Bacterial Infections: caused due to an Infection with bacteria. e.g tuberculosis,typhoid etc.
  3. Fungal Infections: caused by the Infection with fungus. e.g Candidiasis, athlete’s foot, etc.
  4. Prion disease: caused by the non-living protein i.e prion. e.g Creutzfeldt-jakob disease etc.

What are the five signs of an Infection?

Infection occurs when a pathogen enters the body and causes some undesirable changes to it. The five signs of an Infection include fever which is the most important, chills and sweats, increased urination, shortness of breath and sore throat, or a new mouth sore. The appearance of any of these signs indicates the urgent need for consultation with the doctor.

How do you know when an Infection is serious?

Any Infection, says a wound, can be said to be in serious conditions if it shows some of the signs and symptoms such as being large, deep or having jagged edges, the wound edges being apart, any discharge from the wound, fever, increased pain or inflammation, the cause for the wound being a bite or an injury from any contaminated object and the wound not getting cleaned properly. In such conditions, medical consultation should be preferred as early as possible.

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How is the treatment done?

Some of the symptoms that usually penetrates on birth of infection are pain, swelling or warmth around the affected area, constant fever, fluid drainage and often red streaks coming out from the affected area. On experiencing any unusual symptoms in your body, you must get a check-up done by your family doctor. Neglecting the symptoms may turn harmful in the long run. It is extremely necessary to figure out the cause of the infection as some of them can lead to fatal disease, if avoided.

The doctor would primarily ask for a detailed knowledge regarding the symptoms you are facing. In case of skin problems, he would keenly look at the affected area and may also use a microscope in the process to diagnosis the accurate cause. The doctor may also ask you to undergo few tests that would evaluate the cause and thus help the doctor in executing proper treatment for the same. With accordance to the result of the test, the doctor would prescribe antibiotics to fight against the infection.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

The people suffering from any unusual symptoms are advised to reach for a consultation as most of the disease has its roots in germs and infection caused by pathogens.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People who are fit and healthy and not suffering from any unusual symptoms are not eligible for the treatment or rather do not need treatment.

When should you go to the hospital for an Infection?

Any symptomatic changes in one’s body i.e appearance of any signs and symptoms related to Infection should be a reason to go to the hospital. These signs and symptoms include fever, decrease in white blood cells count, shortness of breath, new onset of pain, and nasal congestion. Having any of these in our body indicates the possibility of the risk of Infection.

Are there any side effects?

Infections are of varied types. At the same time, medicines prescribed by doctors comes with various side effects. Some of the common side effects of antibiotics are vomiting tendency, nausea, fever, dry throat, white colour patches on the tongue, sudden vaginal itching and discharge and even diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

What happens if an Infection goes untreated?

In case, if an Infection is not getting treated at the right time or remains untreated, it can lead to the development of more serious complications or even worsening of the existing symptoms. Like if we consider a case of bacterial Infection, if it is left untreated, it can lead to sepsis, an extreme condition as well as a much serious complication that may also prove to be fatal.

How long can an Infection last?

The time duration till when the Infection persists depends upon the causes and the severity of the symptoms. Like if we consider the case of viral Infections, the symptoms can continue to occur till 14 days or even more, from the day of Infection and it's quite normal. In case of cough, this time period may extend up to 3 weeks or more depending upon the severity.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Only following the treatment prescribed by the doctor will not keep you safe near future. Infections are highly communicable and occupy high chance of occurring again. You must maintain some fixed habits that would help to avoid any further occurrence of infection. These include common habits mostly learnt from parents and teachers in the childhood. Some of them include washing hands, taking vaccinations and avoid vulnerability to infections, sanitation and cleanliness. Added to that, you should never share or use other things of others, that remain a pivotal source of spreading infection. Further, you should be under complete rest during the treatment and let your body fight against the germ in your body.

How long does it take to recover?

Mild infection generally takes 1 or 2 weeks to recover. At the same time, infections in sensitive organs like lungs and kidney, the treatment process extends and lingers for a long time until they show up to some better results.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of the treatment entirely depends on the severity of the condition and the cause. In case of mild infection, only consultation fees and medical expenses are concerned whereas on the other hand, for conditions that are severe and have chances of being hospitalised, the treatment is expensive.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Most of the human disease has an underlying cause related to infection. However, most of them can be treated and recovered provided if it gets diagnosed at the right time and exposed to the accurate treatment.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Natural remedies are no doubt the best way to treat illness. They provide treatment without any side effects. Some of the natural ingredients that provide the best treatment over any medicine are ginger, honey, oil oregano, colloidal silver, Echinacea. Each and every item is extremely helpful in treating diseases caused by infections. These natural items are best to treat infection at an early stage while fatal cases require medication to get control over it immediately.

Summary: An Infection is a result of the invasion of pathogens into a host’s body and causing an adverse effect. Depending on the type of pathogen invading, Infections are of four types: bacterial, viral, fungal, and prion. Infections usually have five important signs including fever, chills and sweats, increased urination, shortness of breath and sore throat, or a new mouth sore. The appearance of any of these signs indicates the urgent need for consultation with the doctor.

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Written ByDr. Atindra Nath Bagchi Diploma in CardiologyGeneral Physician
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