Applies to: Back, Elbow/Hand/Wrist, Foot/Ankle, Head, Hip, Knee, Neck, Shoulder

Infections happen when microorganisms get into the body and make you sick. These tiny organisms can be bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses. They grow and spread inside a person’s body and, depending on the type of infection,  can be contagious.

Viral infections can be spread from people’s skin, saliva, sweat, or through airborne particles, contaminated food and water, or coming in contact with an object with the germs from the virus. 

A healthy body is good at defending against viruses; how quickly you recover from a virus often depends on your health.  Common viruses are flu, colds, warts, and hepatitis C. Antivirals can help, but antibiotics don’t work for viruses.

Bacteria cause bacterial infections and can lead to illnesses like pneumonia, gastritis, food poisoning, urinary tract infections, and eye infections.

Fungal infections are caused by yeast or mold and often affect the skin or nails. Athlete’s foot and ringworm are examples.

Parasitic infections come from parasites and can cause different symptoms depending on the type. Some people might not show symptoms, while others may experience stomach discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, or itching. In more severe cases with a lot of parasites, complications like intestinal obstruction, anemia, and inflammation of bile ducts can occur.