Bacterial Infection

Skip to the navigation

A bacterial infection is an infection caused by bacteria. Bacterial infections can often be treated successfully with antibiotics.

An infection may begin as a bacterial infection. Or a bacterial infection may follow a viral infection that does not get better. When a viral infection doesn't get better for 10 days or more, or when a viral infection starts to improve and then unexpectedly gets worse, a bacterial infection may be more likely.

A bacterial infection usually affects a single area in the body, such as the sinuses, lungs, ears, or urinary tract. Common bacterial infections include sinusitis, pneumonia, strep throat, ear infections, and bladder infections. If untreated, a bacterial infection can spread to the bloodstream. This condition is called bacteremia.

Current as of: May 22, 2015

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology