A 36-year-old female asked:
how can i tell the difference between a viral versus a bacterial infection?
3 doctor answers
Dr. Michael Klein answered
20 years experience Family Medicine
Often timing or test: There are many different types of viral infections and bacterial infections so it depends on location. by type of infection: sore throat: bacteria can easily be identified with an office test. if negative usually viral sinusitis: after a cold is going on for 7+ days and getting better, suddenly gets worse pneumonia: doctor exam, x-ray, culture flu (viral): type of symptoms, office test
Answered on Dec 8, 2016
Dr. John Munshower answered
29 years experience Family Medicine
It can be tough: Doctors often have a hard time telling the same thing. Generally, viral illnesses may produce a low fever, clear colored mucus, generalized fatigue, muscle aches, joint pains and are treated with supportive care and symptomatic relief. There are anti-viral meds for some cases. Bacterial infections may be harsher with higher fever, colored mucus, worsening symptoms, etc. See Doc if concerned.
Answered on Jun 14, 2015
Dr. David Lipkin answered
51 years experience Internal Medicine
No simple answer: There are hundreds of known bacterial and viral diseases. Some viral illnesses are mild, others severe. The same for bacterial infections. If you have a specific condition or illness in mind let us know so we can give you some guidance.
Answered on Jan 28, 2015
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