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Signs & Symptoms of Bacterial Infection

| By Amy Hunter
Signs & Symptoms of Bacterial Infection
Signs & Symptoms of Bacterial Infection Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

There are several symptoms that warn of bacterial infections. Early recognition of these symptoms allows you to seek treatment earlier and recover quicker. Many people don't visit their doctor for a mild infection, but bacterial infections can become worse if not treated and secondary infections.complications may also develop as a result. Doctors treat bacterial infections with antibiotics, both in topical cream form and in pill form. Most infections respond quickly to these treatments, but if not, the doctor can take a culture and determine the next antibiotic to use.

Common Symptoms

There are many common symptoms of a bacterial infection. A common example is a fever. When the body attempts to fight infections on its own, it is common for its temperature to spike. A low-grade fever (less than 102 degrees) may go unnoticed in adults, but a high fever can make you feel worse than the actual infection.



An upset stomach is another common symptom of a fever in someone exposed to salmonella or other food borne bacteria. Other digestive problems that may indicate a bacterial infection include black, tarry or bloody stools; diarrhea; and loss of bowel control.



A bacterial infection can also lead to swollen lymph nodes. These are under the arms, at the base of the skull, the back of the neck and other areas through the body. The lymph nodes swell in their attempt to clear the body of bacteria.



Headaches are another common symptom. While the headache is often a low grade, annoying pain, if the pain is severe or makes it difficult to think, eat or keep your eyes open, visit the doctor immediately.

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Less Common Symptoms

Less common are side effects, such as sudden confusion and disorientation. These symptoms are likely to develop very suddenly, and developing neurological symptoms like these is a medical emergency. Call 911 or travel to the closest emergency room if you or someone you are with develops these symptoms.

Bacterial Infections on the Skin

Bacterial infections are not limited to the internal workings of the body, they can often cause skin infections. If you develop a shiny, raised rash or blisters on your skin, you may have an infection; these are often extremely painful to the touch as well.

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author image Amy Hunter
Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.
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