Fast Facts: Urinary Infection

Published March 31, 2005

| Associated Press

General information about the infection and its treatment:

BASICS

— A urinary tract infection (search) (UTI) is any infection in your urinary system.

— That includes: kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. (See below)

— About 8 to 10 million people in the U.S. get one each year.

RISK

— Women are more than twice as likely to get them.

— But in men, urinary infections are more serious and harder to treat.

— They are especially dangerous for older people or pregnant women.

WHAT CAUSES ONE?

— Bacteria getting in the urinary tract.

E. coli (search) is the most common.

— Usually it enters through the urethra and travels to the kidneys and bladder.

— Urinary catheterization may cause a UTI.

— Other risk factors are: kidney stones and a suppressed immune system.

SYMPTOMS

— Fever or chill.

— Blood or unusual smell in the urine.

— Pain in the back or lower abdomen.

— Frequent urge to urinate.

— Burning feeling during urination.

TREATMENT

— Antibiotics are the common treatment.

— The kill the bacteria causing the infection.

— A simple infection gets three days of antibiotics.

— More serious infections require a week or more.

URINARY TRACT

— Kidneys: collect waste and extra water from the blood to make urine.

— Ureters: carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

— Bladder: stores the urine and squeezes it out when full.

— Urethra: carries urine out of the body.

— Prostate: adds fluid to semen.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/03/31/fast-facts-urinary-infection