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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between A Bacterial Infection And A Viral Infection

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What is the difference between a bacterial infection and a viral infection?

What is the difference between a bacterial infection and a viral infection?

Different germ types: Bacteria are larger germs, and they can live in a broth or culture dish in a lab, or sometimes in soup, egg salad, etc... Treatment is with "antibiotics", but the exact term should be "antibacterials". Viruses are much smaller, and cannot reproduce on their own. Viruses have to invade other cells, such as our own cells, and use those cells to make new viruses. Anti-virals are used to stop viruses. ...Read more

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Dr. Debra Rosenblatt
9 doctors shared insights

Infection (Definition)

Infections are invasions of some other organism (fungus, bacteria, parasite) or viruses into places where they do not belong. For instance, we have normal gut bacteria that live within us without causing problems; however, when those penetrate the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream, ...Read more


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What is the difference between a bacterial or fungal infection?

What is the difference between a bacterial or fungal infection?

Quite a bit: One group is caused by one in a myriad of bacteria and the other is caused by one in a myriad of fungi. Probably need a more focused question to help in 400 characters. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a viral infection and viral syndrome?

What is the difference between a viral infection and viral syndrome?

Definitive diagnosis: When someone is diagnosed with a viral infection, the exact virus causing the infection is known. A viral syndrome is a constellation of clinical signs and symptoms which suggest that someone has been infected with a virus but no virus has been detected. ...Read more

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What si the difference between a viral and bacterial infection?

What si the difference between a viral and bacterial infection?

Bacteria are cells: Bacteria are cells, they are living and have a cell wall. Viruses consist of dna, or RNA usually with proteins around the nuclear material, but they do not have a cell wall. Viruses are about 1/10th the size of a bacteria. Bacteria cause infection by causing an inflammatory response while viruses get inside your cells then replicate and cause problems.From the inside out of your cells. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a fungal and yeast infection?

What is the difference between a fungal and yeast infection?

Yeast infection: Fungi can be yeasts or molds. Some fungi have both yeast and mold phases of growth, and this will depend often upon whether they are in the human body or in nature or in culture in the laboratory. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a yeast infection and a bacterial infection in the vagina? How different are the symptoms?

What is the difference between a yeast infection and a bacterial infection in the vagina? How different are the symptoms?

The difference is: A yeast infection is caused by yeast. The bacterial infection that i think you are referring to is not actually an infection. It's an imbalance of the vaginal flora/bacteria. Hope this clarifies. ...Read more

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What's the difference between a bacterial or yeast infection?

What's the difference between a bacterial or yeast infection?

Different causes: As you pointed out, there is a difference as these are two different types of organisms. Therefore, treatment of bacteria requires antibiotics, while yeast requires treatment with anti-yeast products. ...Read more

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Whays the difference between a sinus infection and a virus?

Whays the difference between a sinus infection and a virus?

Sinusitis: A virus is a type of organism that is capable of causing an infection, including one in the sinuses. A sinus infection (sinusitis) is the condition in which something is producing inflammation in your sinuses. Hope this makes it clear. ...Read more

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How can I tell the difference between a viral versus a bacterial infection?

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 ...Read more

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What is the difference between a flu or sinus infection?

What is the difference between a flu or sinus infection?

Viral vs. bacterial: A flu is due to infection by the influenza virus that affects your upper respiratory tract (nose, throat). The result is fever, generalized soreness weakness. The inflammation of your upper respiratory tract can result in sinusitis but not necessarily. Sinus infection is usually bacterial, affects the sinuses around your nose. Results in facial pain and puse from the nose. ...Read more

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What is the difference between bacterial and viral pneumonia?

The germ: Bacterial pneumonias are caused by a germs called bacteria, for the most part they can be treated with antibiotics. Viruses cause similar pneumonias, since viruses are biologically very different ( they live and reproduce by invading a normal cell and incorporating into the cells dna for example) antibiotics do not work, with rare exceptions. ( like flu) symptoms of both are similar though. ...Read more

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What's the difference between bacterial pneumonia and a bacterial infection of the lungs?

What's the difference between bacterial pneumonia and a bacterial infection of the lungs?

Not much: Pneumonia is usually used to refer to an infection in the clusters of breathing sacs in the lung. I suppose you could say a bacerial infection of the entry of the lung (tracheitis) could be defined better that way but I have never used it that way.To me they would seem to mean the same thing. ...Read more

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What is the difference between viral infection and bacterial infection? I'm currently having viral infection according to my doctor.

What is the difference between viral infection and bacterial infection? I'm currently having viral infection according to my doctor.

Virus v Bacteria: The simple answer, and not trying to sound flip, is that viruses causes viral illnesses, bacteria cause bacterial infections. Antibiotics can help with bacterial infections, but only some antiviral medications are available to help with the course of some viral illnesses. Most viral illnesses just have to run their course. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a bacterial food borne illness and a viral one?

What is the difference between a bacterial food borne illness and a viral one?

Apples/oranges: Bacterial food borne illness often from undercooked, and/or contaminated food. Any uncooked animal product considered contaminated. Any raw, unwashed fruit/veg may be contaminated, so wash them before eating. Wash your hands before cooking, eating. Viral food borne illness includes hepatitis a, found in contaminated sea food, more commonly from food handlers. Other viral inf can cause GI sx. ...Read more

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What is the difference between BV and a yeast infection?

What is the difference between BV and a yeast infection?

BV and yeast: Bv is an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina, where the anaerobic bacteria overgrow. The condition can cause an abnormal odor, but can be present with no symptoms. "yeast" is when candida or other yeast organisms overgrow and often causes discharge, itching or irritation. ...Read more

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What is the difference between viral and bacterial infection on complete blood count?

What is the difference between viral and bacterial infection on complete blood count?

See below: As a general rule bacterial infections produce an elevated WBC count with a preponderance of neutrophils and bands. Viral infections more often produce a low or normal WBC count with a preponderance of lymphocytes. ...Read more

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What is the difference between sinusitis and a tooth infection?

What is the difference between sinusitis and a tooth infection?

Cause: A tooth infection usually is a root canal or gum abscess. In upper posterior teeth if this abscess is near or in the sinus, it can also cause a sinusitis. A sinusitis is more often caused by a virus (cold) or bacteria ...Read more

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What is the difference between a bacterial infection and a viral infection?

Different germ types: Bacteria are larger germs, and they can live in a broth or culture dish in a lab, or sometimes in soup, egg salad, etc... Treatment is with "antibiotics", but the exact term should be "antibacterials". Viruses are much smaller, and cannot reproduce on their own. Viruses have to invade other cells, such as our own cells, and use those cells to make new viruses. Anti-virals are used to stop viruses. ...Read more

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What is the difference between viral infection and bacterial infection? I'm currently having viral infection according to my doctor.

Virus v Bacteria: The simple answer, and not trying to sound flip, is that viruses causes viral illnesses, bacteria cause bacterial infections. Antibiotics can help with bacterial infections, but only some antiviral medications are available to help with the course of some viral illnesses. Most viral illnesses just have to run their course. ...Read more

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What is the difference between how viral infections and bacterial infections affect the body?

What is the difference between how viral infections and bacterial infections affect the body?

Ggod question!: There are some clear differences, which one ought to know. Most virus infections cause a short illness of 3-5 days and then go away on their own. We do not have good antibiotics against the virus(this is typical scenario for upper respiratory infections(one of the common infections). Bacterial infections are more serious and definitely require antibiotics, otherwise you will get very sick , ending. ...Read more

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Please explain what differences are there in the (human) immune response to a viral infection vs. A bacterial infection?

Short answer: It depends on the individual organism. For example some viruses trigger the immune system to mount a cytotoxic cellular response in which the infected cell is killed. Some bacteria are killed directly by antibodies in conjunction with the complement system. You usually can't differentiate viral vs bacterial infection based on how you feel or what it looks like in the case of a throat infection. ...Read more

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How do doctors distinguish between bacterial infections and viral infections?

How do doctors distinguish between bacterial infections and viral infections?

If the cause of: illness can't be determined through history and physical examination - that lab tests may be required. ...Read more

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What are the different symptoms of a viral infection and a bacterial infection?

What are the different symptoms of a viral infection and a bacterial infection?

Not much difference: Generally people recover from viral infections a little faster but that is certainly not always the case. Influenza and other serious viruses can take quite a while to recover from. Symptoms depend on where the virus is invading and can be very similar to infections. Bacterial infections tend to be more localized. ...Read more

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How do you treat a bacterial infection in the eyes? How about a viral infection?

How do you treat a bacterial infection in the eyes? How about a viral infection?

Antibiotics; time: Bacterial infections of the eyes are treated with antibiotics specific for the likely causal organism, whereas viral infections are ordinarily managed with irrigation, cleansing the eyelids, artificial tears, decongestants, and occassional antiinflammatory agents like steroids for complicated keratitis. Specific viral infections like herpes simplex have antiviral medications for treatment. ...Read more

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Do children with Chronic benign neutrophenia also have problem fighting viral infections or have problem only fighting bacterial infections?

Do children with Chronic benign neutrophenia also have problem fighting viral infections or have problem only fighting bacterial infections?

Bacterial only: Unless there is an additional immune disorder affecting lymphocytes, one would expect a person with chronic benign neutropenia to have more problems with recurrent bacterial infections and be able to respond normally to viral infections. ...Read more

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Can you tell me when does a viral infection become a bacterial infection?

Can you tell me when does a viral infection become a bacterial infection?

Never.: A virus is one pathogen and a bacteria is another. What occurs sometimes is that you get a cold, ie. Virus and then with the mucus you get a supperimpossed bacterial infection. ...Read more

Dr. Jay Park Dr. Park
1 doctor agreed:
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How does pneumovax, a vaccine against a bacterial infection, reduce deaths from influenza which is a viral disease?

Dr. Jay Park Dr. Park
1 doctor agreed:
How does pneumovax, a vaccine against a bacterial infection, reduce deaths from influenza which is a viral disease?

Pneumonia prevention: An important cause of death from influenza is often related to pneumonia, a common complication of influenza. Pneumonia following influenza is often caused by pneumococcus. Pneumovax provides protection against an invasive peumococcal infections including pneumonia. ...Read more

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Molecular mimicry is a possible cause of some forms of autoimmunity due to bacterial infection..Do fungal/viral infections ever cause autoimmunity?

Molecular mimicry: Why yes viral infections certainly do display molecular mimicry. Most commonly are the herpesvirus family (herpes simplex, varicella, cmv, ebv...16 in all). That is why these viruses remain latent within us and if the immune system is disrupted by acquired immunodeficiencies (age, chemotherapy, HIV or other viral infections) these viruses then reactivate. ...Read more

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How do you know when a viral infection turns to bacterial infection? Still have sore throat, cough, been a week

If: Drainage turns thick yellow and green, you start running a fever or you are getting worse rather tan better after a week you should see your doctor to see if it is now bacterial. ...Read more

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What is the difference between viral and bacterial infection on complete blood count?

See below: As a general rule bacterial infections produce an elevated WBC count with a preponderance of neutrophils and bands. Viral infections more often produce a low or normal WBC count with a preponderance of lymphocytes. ...Read more

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How can I tell the difference between a viral versus a bacterial infection?

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 ...Read more

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What si the difference between a viral and bacterial infection?

Bacteria are cells: Bacteria are cells, they are living and have a cell wall. Viruses consist of dna, or RNA usually with proteins around the nuclear material, but they do not have a cell wall. Viruses are about 1/10th the size of a bacteria. Bacteria cause infection by causing an inflammatory response while viruses get inside your cells then replicate and cause problems.From the inside out of your cells. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of a bacterial infection that I need to look for? And if have a viral what's its symptoms?

It depends: It depends mostly on the site if infection. Ifkr respiratory infections symptoms like fever, sore throat and cough etc are common to both, whereas most runny nose and nasal congestion points to viral than bacterial. If symptoms don't go away in 7-10 days, it generally suggests a bacterial superinfection, for which antibiotics can be prescribed. ...Read more

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I've been sick 6 times this year with different viral/bacterial infections. Should i be worried about leukemia?

Boost Immune system: Frequent illness doesn't necessarily point to cancer. It looks like you have been on a lot of antibiotics and although these help fight serious bacterial infections, if used too often they can lower your immune system. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. When this happens in the gut the bad take over and the good cannot protect you.Then you get sick again. Probiotics, diet, etc. Can help. ...Read more

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Are bacterial infections more dangerous than viral?

Depends on the germ: The Ebola virus is certainly deadly but the cold virus is usually not. Meningococcal germs could kill you in a day while common germs live in your gut for your lifetime and help your digestion/health. I think trying to generalize such an issue can be a cute parlor game but most don't have the need to play it. ...Read more

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Virus (Definition)

A virus is a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of organisms, from animals and plants ...Read more


Dr. Heidi Fowler
2,042 doctors shared insights

Bacterial Infections (Definition)

Bacteria are tiny organisms that can only be seen with a microscope. When certain bacteria enter the body, they can cause infections that must ...Read more