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Bacterial infections

1-minute read

There is more bacteria in and on our bodies than there are cells in the human body. They live on the skin and in the bowel, and mostly are not contagious or harmful. They are essential for good health. But sometimes they, or more often bacteria from elsewhere, can cause infections.

Bacterial infections can affect the throat, the lungs, the skin, the bowel and many others parts of the body. Many are mild, some are severe. Treatment is usually a course of antibiotics (which don’t work against viruses).

Bacterial infections can be highly contagious and so you need to take special care to avoid spreading infections by washing hands, covering up when sneezing and coughing, and not sharing cups and drink bottles.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about bacterial infections.

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Bacterial infections - NT.GOV.AU

Read more on NT Health website

Infections bacterial and viral - Better Health Channel

Many bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, but they are useless against viral infections.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Diphtheria fact sheet - Fact sheets

Diphtheria is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that usually affects the nose and throat. It is very uncommon in Australia but can reemerge when immunisation rates are low.

Read more on NSW Health website

Leptospirosis (Weil's disease) infection information | myVMC

Leptospirosis is an animal-borne bacterial infection which occurs in hot, wet weather and usually causes sudden fever, headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Tuberculosis (TB) infection information | myVMC

Tuberculosis or TB is a bacterial infection of the lungs with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Extrapulmonary (outside the lungs) infection is less common.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) | myVMC

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a severe bacterial infection. It is resistant to common antibiotic treatments and difficult to treat.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Meningococcal disease

Meningococcal disease is caused by a bacterial infection and can lead to serious illness. It is uncommon in NSW, and occurs more often in winter and spring. Infants, small children, adolescents and young adults are most at risk. Early treatment is vital.

Read more on NSW Health website

Septic arthritis information | myVMC

Septic arthritis occurs as a result of bacterial infection or immune suppression. It mainly affects young children and the elderly.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Zyvox (linezolid) antibiotic medicine information | myVMC

Zyvox (linezolid) is an antibiotic used in the treatment of bacterial infections such as pneumonia, skin infections or blood infections.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Infective endocarditis (heart infection) information | myVMC

Infective endocarditis refers to fungal or bacterial infection of the endocardium or lining of the heart. It is often fatal.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

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