If you’re feeling ill, it can be hard to tell if your symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection or a viral infection. Bacterial and viral infection symptoms are often similar, but can vary depending on the type of bacterium or virus causing the illness. Bacterial infections and viruses differ in structure and the way they respond to medications. If you are feeling ill and want to know the difference between bacterial and viral infection symptoms, FastMed can help.
Learn About Some of the Illnesses Caused by Bacterial and Viral Infections at FastMed
- The common cold – viral
- Influenza – viral
- Stomach flu – viral
- Strep throat – bacterial
- Bronchitis – often viral; could be bacterial
- Ear infection – viral or bacterial
- Pneumonia – viral or bacterial
Treatment for your bacterial or viral infection symptoms also varies.
Treating bacterial infections is usually fairly simple. Most common bacterial infections can be cured with antibiotics and plenty of rest. Viral infections are a little different. Because viruses do not respond to antibiotics, treatments usually involve over-the-counter medications, like pain relievers and cold and flu alleviants.
If you are sick and unsure if your illness is viral or bacterial, an online symptom checker might help. If your symptoms are severe, or do not get better after a few days, you should seek medical treatment right away. If left untreated, some bacterial infections, like strep throat, could lead to serious complications. Regardless of the severity or duration of symptoms, it is always suggested that you seek the help of a medical professional.
At FastMed, our medical professionals can determine whether or not your illness is caused by a virus or bacterium, then provide the appropriate course treatment. If you still have questions about viral and bacterial infections, check out our Health Resources Center.