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Viral and bacterial infections are caused by microbes, either bacteria or viruses. Bacteria grow and spread on their own. Viruses do not live or spread by themselves. Instead, viruses require a living host — either an animal, plant, or human. Viral and bacterial infections are infectious diseases, meaning they can spread to others.
If you need treatment for a viral or bacterial infection in Arizona, Find a Doctor near you at Dignity Health.
Bacterial infections include:
Viral infections include:
Doctors at Dignity Health extend compassionate care to diagnose and treat all types of viral and bacterial infections. Meet with one of our providers for the care you need.
The symptoms of infectious diseases will depend on the type of infection. Since the symptoms of viruses and bacterial infections are often similar, your doctor may perform a throat swab to get an accurate diagnosis.
The most common symptoms of infectious diseases are:
You should get urgent medical care if you have:
If you are experiencing a life-threatening symptom, call 9-1-1. If you need to go the ER, use our InQuicker™ online tool to select your estimated hospital arrival time and wait at home until your time to be seen. Upon arrival and check-in, you will see a doctor who will assess your situation and determine the next appropriate level of care.
Infectious diseases spread through direct or indirect contact with a person or contaminated surface, an infected insect, or contaminated food or water.
At Dignity Health, our primary care doctors work together with emergency medical providers to offer timely care. The options for treatment are different for viral and bacterial infections.
Viral infection treatment may include antiviral medicines and supportive therapies such as fluids, rest, and over-the-counter medicines. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics because of how they live and grow.
Bacterial infection treatment often includes antibiotics. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, it is important to take all of them as directed, in order to prevent the bacteria from resisting the antibiotic.
The best way to prevent viral and bacterial infections is to wash your hands regularly.