Learn to Recognize Common Infection Symptoms

November 12, 2012

Learn to Recognize Common Infection Symptoms

People suffer from two types of general infections – systemic and local. Both types are dangerous. In each case, foreign species such as bacteria, viruses or fungal spores enter the body and breed. These infections are like tapeworms or other internal parasites. The infection prospers while the host person suffers. By recognizing common infection systems, a person can get immediate medical treatment. How do people get infections? Usually, infectious microorganisms enter breaks in the skin, such as cuts, scrapes, burns or other injuries. But people getting necessary medical treatments such as a needle or surgeries can also become infected. It is always a good idea to regularly check on surgical sites, injection sites or injuries for infection symptoms. The sooner an infection is treated, the better a person’s chance for total recovery. People can die from untreated infections. Symptoms of Systemic Infections Systemic infections are infections of the entire body. The invading microorganisms use the bloodstream like a subway and quickly spread from one area to all over the body. They also distribute infection symptoms. Systemic infections are often causes by viruses or bacteria. If you have ever suffered from a cold, flu or mononucleosis, you have suffered from a systemic infection. Common systemic infection symptoms include:

  • Persistent aches such as headaches, backaches or abdominal aches from vomiting. They are often are located in more than one body part.

  • Fever with sweating and chills, despite the person’s skin feeling very hot. The more severe the infection, the higher the fever.

  • Nausea which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting. Many people lose their appetites and may dry heave or vomit without bringing up any food, but may bring up bile or mucus. It can be very difficult to get any food or liquids down a patient with such severe nausea.

  • Fatigue and abnormal weakness to the point where the patient may be physically unable to do simple tasks such as sit up or use a toilet. Patients may show other infection symptoms but not noticeable weakness.

Symptoms of Local Infections Local infections are centered in certain areas of the body instead of the entire body. They do not manage to get inside of the bloodstream to spread, but are still painful and potentially deadly. Cuts, scratches and other minor often produce local infections, especially if the wound has not been properly cleaned. Common local infection symptoms include:

  • Redness at the wound site. This redness can vary from a pink to a strawberry red.

  • Swollen skin at the wound site that is often hot and painful to the touch.

  • Strange odor coming from the wound site. This odor can vary from rotting cheese to an unidentifiable stink. The odor worsens depending on how bad the infection is.

  • Discharge from the wound site. This can vary from a weeping clear fluid to yellow-green pus.

  • Any of the above symptoms near the wound site. It can be difficult to see how large a wound is and so swelling, heat, pain and discharge can seem to come from right next to a wound. The skin has been broken in that area, even if it did not initially seem to be opened.

  • Fever. As the body tries to fight the local infection, it will raise the body’s temperature to “bake” the invading microorganisms. This fever may or may not be accompanied by headache, sweating, shivering and loss of appetite.

If suffering from these infections symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.

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