Differences of viral infection from bacterial
Acute respiratory diseases always appear inappropriate. Yesterday the body was full of strength, but today weakness, fever, runny nose just fell down. To find the right treatment, you need to figure out who was responsible for the disease – viruses or bacteria. Of course, it’s not easy to do it yourself. Still, there are some tips on how to distinguish a viral infection from a bacterial infection.
Why do we need to distinguish between viruses and bacteria
In the autumn-winter period, the number of people with colds increases. Respiratory infections are most often caused by viruses or bacteria. The pathologies provoked by such pathogens have similar symptoms. Therefore, it is very difficult to distinguish between them. And yet it is necessary to determine the type of infection.
This is important to do because:
Antiviral drugs are prescribed to combat viral infection, and antibiotics for bacterial infections. If the treatment is chosen incorrectly, it is difficult to talk about the consequences. Antibiotics are completely useless in front of viruses. And antiviral drugs will not help cope with bacteria.
Lack of adequate treatment can lead to serious consequences. Some viral diseases (of course, we are not talking about the flu) can go away on their own, without any serious treatment. But suppressing a bacterial infection without antibiotics is impossible. And in this case, the patient may develop serious complications.
Different medicines are prescribed for bacterial and viral infections.
Before you figure out how to distinguish a viral infection from a bacterial infection, you need to understand what pathologies are in question.
According to statistics, the cause of acute respiratory respiratory diseases in almost 92-98% of cases are viruses. Such diseases last an average of 10-14 days. During the first week, the patient complains of marked symptoms, fever. Then the acute phase is replaced by the recovery period, which lasts from 3 to 7 days.
Viral infections include such infections:
rhinovirus (the virus affects the mucous membranes of the nose and nasopharynx);
adenoviral (this is a whole group of acute respiratory viral infections, in which the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract are affected, eyes are watering, moderate symptoms of intoxication are concerned);
parainfluenza (pathology causes mild intoxication and damage to the larynx, upper respiratory tract);
infectious mononucleosis (the disease is accompanied by high fever, acute pain in the throat and enlarged lymph nodes);
MS (respiratory syncytial) – (a disease affecting the lower respiratory tract);
metapneumovirus (virus affects the respiratory system and the digestive tract, which is manifested by diarrhea).
Improper treatment of viral pathologies can lead to the addition of bacterial complications.
Such diseases are usually caused by bacteria found in the human body. They are controlled by the immune system and are conditionally pathogenic.
Bacterial cold comes due to hypothermia
As soon as the body’s defenses are reduced, such bacteria begin to activate. They can affect the mucous membranes of the mouth, pharynx, nose. Bacteria are able to penetrate the bronchi, nasal sinuses, lungs, trachea.
Severe hypothermia is likely to cause a bacterial infection, so wondering how to distinguish it from a viral infection, do not forget to analyze previous events.
Bacterial infection manifests itself in the form of:
sinusitis (sinusitis, frontal sinusitis);
acute tonsillitis (sore throats);
How to distinguish a viral infection from a bacterial cold: 4 important nuances
The easiest and easiest way to determine the type of infection is to go to a doctor. Doctors regularly encounter such issues, so they can recognize the pathogen “with the naked eye.”
But if they have doubts, then the experts will offer to take the tests:
macroscopic analysis of nasal and throat swabs;
rapid tests for influenza virus and streptococcus.
In order to independently recognize the type of infection, doctors advise you to pay attention to the following points.
The common cold is often accompanied by a cold, cough. Be sure to look at the discharge from the nose and sputum, departing during cough.
The following features will help to recognize pathologies:
Viral infection. This pathogen is characterized by a fluid, clear discharge. Most often they are serous.
Bacterial. The discharge is thick. They are green or brownish. A yellow-brown shade of mucus usually indicates the presence of pus.
Both types of infection may be accompanied by high fever. Therefore, it is important to pay attention not to the indicators, but to the following points:
Viral. The temperature rises immediately. Pronounced moment of onset of the disease. The fever lasts for several days. Then decreases.
Bacterial. Develops gradually. Sluggish start. The temperature increases over several days.