The symptoms of viral and bacterial infections are very similar. The only way to distinguish them is by undergoing a diagnostic test. However, this method is expensive and tedious. Viral infections are caused by viruses while bacteria cause bacterial infections. Both viruses and bacteria cause infectious diseases, but they are far totally different. Moreover, the modes of transmission, treatments and the drugs used differ significantly. To be able to make a difference, here are some things that can help you.
The symptoms of viral and bacterial infections are very similar. The only way to distinguish them is by undergoing a diagnostic test. However, this method is expensive and tedious. Moreover, some subtle differences can help you differentiate between the two diseases. In general, viral infections last longer than bacterial infections. Symptoms that persist for more than a week often indicate a viral infection. However, be alert and talk to your doctor about getting the best antibiotics if the symptoms persist for a while.
Observe the Color of Your Phlegm
Observe the color of your sputum or nasal secretions. This may seem implausible, but the color may indicate whether it is a viral or bacterial disease. If the infection is viral, the slime will probably be clear and light. On the other hand, dark, greenish mucus is usually a symptom of a bacterial infection. However, color alone does not make it possible to state with certainty the nature of the infection. Therefore you will have to consider other factors.
The Nature of Your Throat
A sore throat usually accompanies viral or bacterial infections. However, the nature of this disease may indicate the difference. Generally, white spots are clear indicators of a bacterial infection. In this case, if a sore throat is not accompanied by other symptoms such as running nose and sneezing, it is probably a bacterial infection, such as pharyngitis.