Is A Bacterial Infection Contagious?


Bacteria is often a word most associated with cleanliness or lack thereof. Many people are wired to believe that all bacteria are harmful and contracted by uncleanliness. Well sorry to burst your little bubble, but that is simply not true. Bacteria lives everywhere on earth and can live in people, animals, water and soil. Not all bacteria are bad, but not all bacteria are good. Only a small percentage of bacteria is harmful to the human population. To better understand bacteria, there are three different shapes and two strands of gram bacteria. The three shapes are rod-shaped, spherical and helical. The strands of bacteria can include gram-negative and gram-positive.

Types Of Bacterial Infections

Some types of infections such as meningitis and pneumonia are either viral or bacterial. Both of these types of infections can be harmful to the body but have different outcomes depending on their main infection source. Some form of bacterial infections includes:

  • Staphylococcus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chlamydia
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori)
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Ear infection
  • Bacterial eye infection

Is A Bacterial Infection Contagious?

Just like viral infections, most if not all bacterial infections can be contagious. One of the most contagious bacterial infections is streptococcal throat, also known as strep throat. The first 24 hours of this bacterial infection are the most contagious and any cough or sneeze may trigger the infection to release in the air. Another highly contagious bacterial infection is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Spreading a bacterial eye infection can be as easy as rubbing their infected eye and then touching someone else. Escherichia coli is the most common form of bacterial infections that affects the digestive tract. This form of infection has a gram-negative strand that can affect humans as well as animals. Food contamination is the main form of bacterial infection in E. coli as well as Salmonella. The key to remember is that one a bacterial infection has erupted, there is no stopping it.

Dangerous Bacterial Infections

Most of the diseases on the list below are dangerous bacterial infections have diminished in appearance over the years. However, it does not been that they cannot be reproduced, just that they are contagious but currently out of circulation.

  • The Black Plague- This disease caused the deaths of over 100 million people during the 14th century but it has since made its way out of the world. This is known as the most dangerous form of bacterial infection and was spread through animals.
  • Typhoid- Fevers are commonly associated with this bacterial infection and was the main disease that harmed many people over the years. Antibiotics are the only way to treat this disease that is caused by food contamination.
  • Syphilis- This sexually transmitted disease should not be taken as a joke because it can cause serious harm. It is important to let all of your future sexual partners know you have or have had syphilis because it spreads through sexual contact. Unfortunately, many newborns and infants have died because syphilis spread to the fetus during pregnancy or at birth.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The proper way to detect bacterial infections is through blood or urine samples. Doctors almost always treat bacterial infections with antibiotics.

Bacteria Versus Viruses

Bacteria and viruses have a few similarities such as symptoms, but each infection functions completely different from the other including course of treatment. Viruses are best treated with vaccines and over-the-counter-medication while bacterial infections need more help with the use of antibiotics. Unlike the reproduction of the virus, bacteria do not invade a cell but has asexual reproduction. Bacteria is also larger than virus and can cause more complications. The two types of infections tend to intertwine when one type of infection grows a disease that is inhabited by the other. For example, the flu virus is caused by a viral infection and can cause strep throat, which is a bacterial infection.


The best tips to preventing a bacterial infection are:

  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer
  • Do not come in close contact while others who are contagious
  • Get the proper medical attention and follow the directions to the proper use of antibiotics and treatment
  • Practice proper hygiene, especially in your intimate body parts
  • Exercise properly
  • Eat a properly balanced diet
  • Rest