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Distinguishing Viral & Bacterial Infections

Don’t understand the difference between viral versus bacterial infections? Both cause disease but the germs live and grow differently. A virus can’t survive without a living host. Bacteria can multiply and survive on their own.

Both infections may require emergency care if they occur with certain symptoms, such as stomach pain with vomiting, severe headache with vomiting, and a stiff neck. If you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, Dignity Health St. John's can help.

Our team of caring doctors will treat your viral or bacterial infection with dignity and respect for your healing and well-being.


Treating Staph Infections & More with Care at Dignity Health St. John's

Whether you have a bacterial infection such as staph or a viral infection, our doctors will first take steps to accurately diagnose you to effectively treat your symptoms and get you on the path to healing. Antibiotics are the most effective method for treating bacterial infection symptoms. Fluids, rest, and nonprescription medications typically relieve symptoms caused by viruses.

The common cold ranks among the top of frequent types of viral infections. Stomach flu, swine flu (H1N1), viral meningitis and hepatitis, influenza, and HIV are also types of viral infections.

If your doctor believes that you have a bacterial infection, certain tests, such as a throat swab for strep throat, can help confirm the diagnosis. Other bacterial infections include Lyme disease, whooping cough, cat scratch disease, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Prevention is the key for both viral or bacterial infections. Stay healthy by washing your hands regularly.

Not sure if you have a viral or bacterial infection? Find a Doctor today at Dignity Health St. John's who will help diagnose your symptoms and provide a personal care plan for your restored health.

Dignity Health emergency doctors identify and treat viral and bacterial infections.