Bacterial and Viral Infections

Young African-American doctor

Bacterial and viral infections are both caused by microbes which can be spread in many different ways. Bacterial and viral infections can be spread through coughing, contaminated surfaces, sneezing, sexual intercourse and contact with infected animals.

Bacterial and viral infections can cause diseases of varying severity. Microbes are also responsible for acute infections, chronic infections and latent infections. An acute infection can cause a wide variety of symptoms but generally is short-lived and goes away. A chronic infection can survive in a person’s body for weeks, months, years or even the rest of their life. Latent infections may not have any visible or noticeable symptoms at first but can reactivate after being dormant.

In order for a doctor to confirm what is causing the aliment the doctor will often do a blood or urine test. For a wound or biopsy a culture test may be preformed to confirm if it is a bacteria or virus causing the infection.

Bacteria for the most part are good for the body. They can help the body in a variety of different ways including digestion, fighting cancer cells and providing the body with rich nutrients. Bacteria can even help the body to destroy microbes which cause diseases. Less than 1% of bacteria that has a negative effect on the body which results in disease.

Bacterial infections are often treated with antibiotics. Some bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics which may make effective treatment more difficult.

Viruses on the other hand require a host in order to survive. Viruses are also very specific in the cells that they choose to attack. They can cause disease in the liver or blood stream. A virus is often treated with antiviral medications. Viral infections are harder to treat, but some viruses can be prevented by using vaccinations.

Some infections can be caused by either bacteria or a virus including diarrhea, meningitis and pneumonia. Common bacterial and viral infections include Cold Sores, Escherichia Coli, Listeriosis, Tonsillitis and Salmonella Poisoning.