What are the symptoms of bacterial diseases?

Symptoms of bacterial diseases vary depending on the type of bacterial infection, the area of the body that is infected, and other factors, such as the patient’s age and health history. The symptoms of bacterial diseases can also resemble symptoms of other diseases, such as colitis, influenza, and viral infections. The classic symptom of a bacterial infection is a fever, although not all people with a bacterial infection will have a fever.

Bacterial disease symptoms can include:

In infants, signs of a bacterial disease can also include:

  • Bulging of the soft spot on the top of the head 

  • Difficulty with feeding

  • Excessive crying or fussiness

  • Excessive sleepiness

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, bacterial diseases can result in serious or life-threatening complications, such as sepsis or kidney failure. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of the following symptoms:

  • Confusion or delirium

  • Deep, wet chest cough that produces yellow, green or brownish phlegm

  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing or shortness of breath

  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees)

  • Inappropriate change in alertness or level of consciousness

  • Infants: sunken fontanel (soft spot) on the top of the head, lethargy, no tears with crying, and few or no wet diapers

  • Lethargy or unresponsiveness

  • Not urinating or urinating small amounts of tea-colored urine

  • Seizure


What are bacterial diseases?

Bacterial diseases include any type of illness caused by bacteria. Bacteria are a type of microorganism, which are tiny forms of life that can only be seen with a microscope. Other types of microorganisms include viruses, some fungi, and some parasites.

... Read more about bacterial diseasesintroduction


What causes bacterial diseases?

Bacterial diseases are caused by harmful bacteria (pathogenic bacteria). The vast majority of bacteria do not cause disease, and many bacteria are actually helpful and even necessary for good health. Bacterial diseases occur when pathogenic bacteria get into an area of the body that is normally sterile, such as the bladder, or when they crowd out the helpful bacteria in places such as the intes... Read more about bacterial diseasescauses


How are bacterial diseases treated?

Bacterial diseases are treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics work by killing the harmful bacteria or by stopping them from reproducing and spreading. Different types of antibiotics are effective for treating specific types of bacteria. Antibiotics may be given orally, intravenously, or by intramuscular injection, depending on the type a... Read more about bacterial diseasestreatments

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Jul 30, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases, Cold and Flu

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