Question: How Do You Know If A Cold Is Viral Or Bacterial?

Is a cold bacterial or viral?

Bacterial vs viral infection Examples of bacterial infections include whooping cough, strep throat, ear infection and urinary tract infection (UTI).

Viral infections include the common cold, flu, most coughs and bronchitis, chickenpox and HIV/AIDS..

How long does a viral infection last?

A viral infection usually lasts only a week or two. But when you’re feeling rotten, this can seem like a long time! Here are some tips to help ease symptoms and get better faster: Rest.

Can a bacterial infection cause cold symptoms?

Some people do not suffer any symptoms when infected with the cold virus, perhaps because their immune system reacts differently to the virus. Sometimes, bacteria can infect the ears or sinuses during this viral infection — this is known as a secondary bacterial infection — and can be treated with antibiotics.

How do I know if I need antibiotics?

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the symptoms are severe and include high fever along with nasal drainage and a productive cough. Antibiotics may also be necessary if you feel better after a few days and then your symptoms return or if the infection lasts more than a week.

How can you tell the difference between a viral and bacterial sore throat?

Sore throat symptoms are typically caused by inflammation due to a virus like the common cold. However, about 15 percent of sore throats are caused by bacteria called streptococcus, or strep. Strep throat requires treatment with an antibiotic, while viral causes of sore throat do not.

How do you know if it’s viral or bacterial?

Your doctor often can diagnose you through a medical history and physical exam. The doctor may order blood or urine tests or a spinal culture to help pinpoint a viral or bacterial infection.