Bacterial & Viral Infections

Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, and viral infections are caused by viruses. Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren’t effective against viruses.



Garvan Lynch
Supervising Pharmacist

Infections caused by bacteria include Strep throat, Tuberculosis and Urinary tract infections. Diseases caused by viruses include Chickenpox. AIDS and Common colds.

Many ailments — such as pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhoea — can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. Since the treatment
for bacterial and viral infections have some key differences, it is important to see your doctor to determine the cause of your illness.

How do you treat it?

Most bacterial infections have to be treated with antibiotics. Selection is based on the type of bacteria involved. Diagnosis can be made by testing blood or urine samples, although sometimes they are made presumptively (based on a review of symptoms and the circumstances that led to the infection).

For most viral infections, treatments can only help with symptoms while you wait for your immune system to fight off the virus. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. There are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases.


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