Monday, September 5, 2011

Cold or Flu, Virus or Bacteria

We have been sick over and over again since August. I have a small family of four and between the four of us, we have been to the doctor 8 times in the last 3 weeks. The little one has been sick continuously for 3 weeks. Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, coughs, nose congestion. He had it all. Cold or Flu, Virus or Bacteria? It is hard to know.

Sometimes the doctor decides that it is a viral infection and gives cough and fever medicines with no antibiotics. Sometimes, the doctor decides that it is a bacterial infection and gives an antibiotic. It is all very confusing. I noticed that she would look at the throat and if it is not very red, she usually decides that it is a viral infection.

Viral infections have no 'cure' and we just have to get plenty of rest and let our body recover on its own. However some viral infections can be rather strong. Once my son was hospitalized for 10 days for a virus infection. He had been infected by the Epstein Barr Virus.

On the other hand, Bacterial Infections are usually treated with antibiotics. Some for 5 or 7 or more days etc depending on the severity of the infection. Antibiotics must be taken regularly and completed or finished.

Sometimes Virus Infections can 'turn into' Bacterial Infections. This is because your immune system is weakened at the time, so you can easily get infected by a secondary Bacterial Infection.

Here are some sites which I find useful to help me differentiate between a Cold or a Flu, Virus or Bacteria....
Whatever it is, when you are sick, whether it is the cold or flu, a virus infection or a bacterial infection, you should try to get plenty of rest, fluids and sleep. It is important to break the sick cycle, make sure that if you have a virus infection, you don't get a secondary bacterial infection because of your body's weakened immune system at the time. Get plenty of rest!
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