Acute Respiratory Bacterial Infection
A respiratory bacterial infection can affect both the airway passages of the upper and lower respiratory tracts as well as the lungs. While these infections are not typically life-threatening, fatalities can result if the patient allows the infection to spread by not seeking treatment. After contact with the infection, patients may exhibit the following symptoms: runny or stuffy nose, throat irritation, fever, headache, or difficulty breathing. At the onset of these symptoms, it is advised to seek a local doctor’s counsel to determine the cause and best treatment options.
An acute bacterial infection can be caused by various bacterial pathogens, but the most common species responsible for infections is Group A streptococcus. Other variations of a respiratory bacterial infection can be caused by Coxiella burnetii. The most well-known respiratory bacterial infection is pneumonia. While it is no longer as common as before the introduction of effective antibiotics, pneumonia was responsible for many deaths. Another type of acute bacterial infection that has become under control by antibiotics is tuberculosis. Frequently known as consumption, contraction of this infection led to the development of many consequent diseases as the bacteria infected the various parts of a person’s body. Other examples of a respiratory bacterial infection are Legionnaire’s disease, epiglottitis, and Q fever.
Patients with allergies or compromised immune systems are at higher risk of contraction one of these infections. In current times, AIDS/HIV positive patients must still be very careful as pneumonia and other infections are still a dangerous threat. The lowered immune system of these patients allows bacterial and fungal pathogens to spread rapidly within the patient’s body, thus causing many problems and potentially leading to a fatality. Also at risk are elderly patients or younger children as the respiratory systems in these patients are not at optimum levels.
One simple method of preventing a respiratory bacterial infection is to engage in daily proper hygiene, taking care to wash thoroughly. Also, as the bacteria can spread by close contact with infected persons, care should be taken to avoid direct or close contact with sick people. In some examples, vaccines have been created to aid in preventing contraction of the problem. To prevent spreading the contagion, infected persons should always cover their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
In cases where an infection has already occurred, there are a number of antibiotic medicines that can be used to combat the bacteria. Penicillin and amoxicillin are the most common antibiotics, but certain antibiotics exist to effectively treat nearly all bacteria types. In addition, a decongestant may help provide relief from symptoms. If symptoms remain after antibiotic treatment, they may be indicative of a viral or fungal infection rather than from a bacterial source. Treatment of a respiratory bacterial infection should always begin with a visit to a local doctor to discover the precise nature of the infection.