You can get infected by a bacterium or a virus. An infection is when an organism enters your body and begins to make you sick. Not just bacteria and virus, you can also get infected by different types of parasites and fungi. Most of the germs exist as microorganisms and you cannot see them. They are either floating in the air or they are stuck to surfaces or people and when you touch those surfaces or people, or come in contact with them, or exchange some sort of biological information (such as bodily fluids in the form of saliva, blood or semen), you can get infected. An infection can be as trivial as a common cold or can be as severe as AIDS. There can be as many symptoms as there are infections so which infection test you must get done will most probably be decided by your doctor. There are multiple infection tests you can go for. You can get an overall infection test. You can go for a urine routine & microscopy. You can get your blood tested for C-reactive protein. Another test can find culture & sensitivity of aerobic bacteria in your stool.
Bacteria are one-celled life forms. Some sort of bacteria are always present in the human body. Hundreds of thousands of bacteria species even live on our skin without doing much damage. There may be hundreds of thousands of bacteria in our stomach and other parts. Many of these bacteria protect us from infections.
Some varieties of bacteria can be dangerous. A bacterial infection can lead to pneumonia, meningitis, or food poisoning. There are many skin bacterial infections such as cellulitis, folliculitis, boils and impetigo. Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis. The Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium causes the STD gonorrhea.
A timely infection test can reveal whether you are infected by a bacterium or not.
The most famous viral infection these days is Covid-19. There are many viruses that may be dangerous to one species but not others.
A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent. When it is not living inside its host, it lives in a dormant nature, as if it is dead. As soon as it enters a living cell of an organism, it activates and multiplies. After entering a host cell, the virus overtakes the cells by releasing its own genetic material and proteins into the host (the basic structure of DNA and RNA). Then it uses the host cell machinery to replicate. If you haven’t been vaccinated or if your body does not have a natural resistance to the virus, you get infected by the virus.
Some of the common viral infections include human immunodeficiency virus, infectious mononucleosis, shingles, chickenpox, influenza, herpes, Ebola, measles, and many more.
In the wake of Covid-19 you must have heard of the dreaded black fungus infection among the Covid patients. Fungal infection can affect your skin in the form of ringworm, athlete’s foot, and jock itch. It can also infect you internally by infecting your esophagus, digestive tract, lungs, the inside of the mouth, urinary tract or vagina.
Fungus or fungi are microscopic organisms. They grow like plants. Some are free living (they can survive on their own) and some are parasitic. It’s the parasitic fungi that cause infections among humans and animals.
Parasites can be tiny animals that start living inside your body. They don’t need to be microorganisms or microscopic. Some parasites can be as large as common insects like cockroaches or flies. You can accidentally ingest a parasite while drinking water or eating some food (especially partially cooked non-veg) or while swimming.
A well-known parasitic infection is malaria. You get infected by malaria when a parasite is transmitted by an infected mosquito during a mosquito bite.
A timely infection test can tell you whether you are infected by a bacteria, a virus, a fungus or a parasite and you can start your treatment accordingly. It is especially important to get an infection test done as fast as possible because all these microorganisms and parasites can grow incredibly fast and can take over most of your systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to get an infection test?
An infection can be as casual as an annoying itch on your foot, or it can be as dangerous as tuberculosis, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or meningitis (just to name a few among hundreds of ailments). You can never take a chance with an infection. An infection can start with harmless symptoms and then quickly progress towards alarming signs. Hence one should never underestimate an infection and get an infection test done as soon as possible.
What is the process of getting an infection test done?
It depends on what type of infection test your doctor has suggested. You may need to submit a sample of your urine or a sample of your stool. Your blood sample may be required. A phlebotomist will pay you a visit once you fix up an appointment on our website and collect the samples from you from the comfort of your home. The samples will be duly submitted to the lab and the results will be delivered to you in a couple of days. Once you have received the results, consult with your doctor, virologist, or the physician of your choice without losing much time. Once you are infected it is a race against time. What are the common symptoms of an infection? Your body may react differently to different infections. Most of the symptoms are signals from your body that it has been invaded by a pathogen or a microorganism that is harmful. Some symptoms that should raise the alarm bells and prompt you to take an infection test include Fever (one of the first signs of infection) Sore throat Unexplained cough Burning sensation or pain when urinating Increased urination Diarrhea Vomiting Shortness of breath Nasal congestion Chills and sweat Abdominal pain Pain in the rectum A new, unexplained pain Again, there can be various other symptoms depending on the severity of the infection.
How can I prevent getting infected?
Since most of the infections are passed on by the transmission of bacteria, virus, fungus or parasites from one host to another or from an infected substance or person, precautions must be taken that you don’t expose yourself to an infectious attack. Refrain from making contact with the infected person. For example, strict social distancing is recommended in the times of Covid-19 and people are advised to use masks. Similarly, make sure you don’t consume infected food or contaminated water. Avoid having sexual relationships with persons whose medical history you don’t know. Prevention is the best medicine if you want to protect yourself against infections.
What is vaccination and how does it protect me against infections?
Vaccination is another method. A small dose of the pathogen or its replica is introduced into your body so that the immune system of your body recognizes it and fights with it. Once your immune system can fight it, it stores the information so that the next time you’re attacked by the same bacteria or virus, your body can fend it off. Just as for Covid-19 thousands of vaccination drives are going on in the country, or rather, in the whole world.