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The 8 Classic Signs of a Bacterial Infection

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Symptoms occur because infection causes an inflammatory response in the body, which can lead to these symptoms.

Chills and sweats

Chills and sweats are two common symptoms that can occur with a variety of infections. Chills are caused by a drop in body temperature, while sweats are the result of an increase in body temperature. Both chills and sweats can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In some cases, chills and sweats may be the only symptoms present. Chills and sweats are often most severe at the beginning of an infection and usually subside as the body fights off the infection.

Change in cough or a new cough

A cough is a sudden, often repetitive, spasmodic contraction of the thoracic diaphragm and surrounding muscles. It is a natural reflex intended to clear the throat and lungs of foreign irritants, secretions or debris. However, sometimes a cough can become chronic and linger for weeks or even months. This can be extremely frustrating and may interfere with your daily activities.

There are many possible causes of a chronic cough, including allergies, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), postnasal drip, sinus infections, and smoking. In some cases, it may be due to a more serious condition such as bronchitis, pneumonia or lung cancer.

If you have a chronic cough, it is important to see your doctor so that the underlying cause can be identified and treated accordingly. In the meantime, there are several things you can do at home to help ease your symptoms:

1) Drink plenty of fluids – This will help thin out mucus secretions and make them easier to expel when you do cough. Avoid caffeinated beverages as they can promote dehydration and actually make your coughing worse.

Shortness of breath

When you have an infection, your body produces chemicals that cause inflammation. This can trigger a series of events that lead to fluid buildup in your lungs, which can make it difficult to breathe. Other symptoms of infection-related lung problems include:

  • Coughing up phlegm or mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Rapid breathing.

Nasal congestion

Nasal congestion is one of the most common symptoms of a cold or sinus infection. It can also be caused by allergies, the flu, and other respiratory infections. When your nose is congested, it means that there is inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in your nose. This can cause your nose to feel stuffy, making it difficult to breathe. Congestion can also lead to a runny nose, as well as sneezing and coughing. If you have a cold or sinus infection, you may also experience a fever, headache, and fatigue.

Stiff neck

A stiff neck is one of the classic signs of infection. It can be caused by a number of different infections, including meningitis, pneumonia, and ear infections. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the neck, headache, fever, and sometimes vomiting. A stiff neck can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as arthritis or a pinched nerve. Treatment depends on the underlying cause but may include rest, ice packs, pain relievers, and physical therapy.

Burning or pain with urination

  • Frequent urination
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Strong smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain (in women)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible for treatment.