For most people bacterial infections are those that are caused by the bacterial and the viral infections are caused by viruses, this is what most people would say if you ask them about the two.
But that is not just what it is all about. The actual answers can be given only by the Medical Sciences, and it is really required as both can cause fever and irritability. But due to the dissimilar sources of the discomfort and disease the treat for both of them varies by a greatly. In this blog we aim to differentiate between the two.
It has become a daily affair, parents flock outside the pediatrician’s office. They want to know that if the sickness of their child is the result of common cold or is it something more than that.
The facts are not exaggerated. It is true that it costs 22 million missed school days for the child is suffering from cold. Missed days of work of parents is quite close to these numbers, amounting to 20 million missed days. This cold that most the children suffer from is commonly of the many types of viruses. However, we understand that the child must be taken to a pediatrician so that he or she can determine if there is a need for antibiotics in the treatment.
To find out if the cold is due to common viral infections like the upper respiratory infection, they look for runny nose, cough, a sore throat and insomnia or sleeplessness or difficulty in sleeping due to breathing issues. In this case, an antibiotic cannot fasten the process of recovery. Children have a weaker immune symptom and also the recovery is not as fast as in the adults. They are more susceptible to infections and once they are affected by the viral infection, it may last for 14 days. On average the number of times a children catch cold during an year varies between six to eight times.
Influenza is also a viral illness and has symptoms that are common to common cold like body ache, high fever, stuffy nose and sore throat. Antiviral medication can shorten the length of time of the flu if it is detected with the 48 hours of illness. It is recommend that a flu shot before the start of the flu season can eliminate the possibilities of being infected by the flu.
In certain cases we become more alarmed that if we find the cause of infection is bacteria. Bacterial infection can be the outcome of a virus that initiated the process of illness and a bacteria is followed, so it is often referred to as the secondary infection. In such a case:
- The symptoms of illness do not diminish even after 14 days, which is the time a virus is expected to last
- Just after a few days of illness the fever gets high and gets worse with each day
Sinusitis, pneumonia and ear infections are the typical types of secondary infections. Pneumonia can be detected by looking for symptoms like cough, stomach ache and difficulty in breathing. A physician also diagnose pneumonia by requesting for a chest x-ray.