Bacteria V/S Viral Infection? Know When To Worry!
Table of Contents
What is an infection? When and how does it occur?
An infection is the invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites etc in the human body. Human beings are generally affected by these microorganisms when they come in contact with it or when they have reduced immunity towards said microorganism.
In today’s day and age, we come across various types of infections.
Should we worry about these infections becoming life threatening?
Should we run to a doctor the minute our nose gets runny and our throats itchy?
Know when is the right time to seek medical attention, and when it is okay to put on our “Lets-wait-and-watch” coat and just get good rest and hydration.
Bacterial Infection: Bacteria can thrive in any environmental condition including extreme conditions of cold and heat.
Bacteria are of two types: good and bad. The good type do not cause any harm to human body. Human beings are host to some types of good bacteria as they reside in our intestines and help in digestion of food.
The bad type of bacteria affect human body causing infections and flu like symptoms For eg: fever, runny nose, sore throat, chills, joint aches.
Most of the time these infections are voluntarily fought off by our body’s defense mechanism. Sometimes the infection spreads at a faster rate. At these times medical intervention such as prescribed antibiotics is required.
Viral Infection: Viruses are much more smaller than bacteria. To multiply in number, viruses need a living host like plants, animals and humans. Otherwise they cannot survive. Sometimes it is difficult to confirm whether your symptoms are caused by bacteria or virus.
How long to wait before consulting a Doctor?
Typically bacterial infection subsides within 4-5 days. One starts to feel better after the 5th day. If your cold and fever does not subside after 5 days, it is time to seek medical help.
Note: Self prescribed antibiotics are more hazardous than not taking the medication at all.
It is always recommended to seek help for medication and not buy antibiotics as an “over the counter drug”.
In case of viral infection, only the symptoms can be treated and we wait for our body’s in-built defense mechanism to fight off the viruses. Antibiotics do not help in treating viral infections, although for severe viral infections there are anti-viral drugs. If your flu-like symptoms do not subside for more than 10-15 days. It is ideal to seek medical help.
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