How Can You Tell If A Cold Is Viral Or Bacterial?

When should I go to the doctor for a cold?

In most cases, you don’t need to see your doctor when you have a common cold.

But you should call your family doctor if your cold symptoms last for more than 10 days or get worse instead of better..

Why do fevers spike at night?

Why it’s worse at night: Body temperature rises naturally in the evening, so a fever that was slight during the day can easily spike during sleep.

How do you fight a viral infection?

taking over-the-counter fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce a fever and its symptoms. resting as much as possible. drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and replenish fluids lost while sweating. taking antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu), when applicable.

What are symptoms of viral infection?

SymptomsRunny or stuffy nose.Sore throat.Cough.Congestion.Slight body aches or a mild headache.Sneezing.Low-grade fever.Generally feeling unwell (malaise)

How long is someone with cold contagious?

The common cold is infectious from a few days before your symptoms appear until all of the symptoms are gone. Most people will be infectious for around 2 weeks. Symptoms are usually worse during the first 2 to 3 days, and this is when you’re most likely to spread the virus.

How do you know if it’s viral or bacterial?

Your doctor often can diagnose you through a medical history and physical exam. The doctor may order blood or urine tests or a spinal culture to help pinpoint a viral or bacterial infection.

How do you know if flu is viral or bacterial?

One easy way to get an idea if a viral infection is now bacterial is to monitor symptom changes. If symptoms persist for more than 10-14 days, the fever is higher than that of a viral fever and the fever is getting worse before it’s getting better, it may have gone bacterial.

How do I know if I need antibiotics?

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the symptoms are severe and include high fever along with nasal drainage and a productive cough. Antibiotics may also be necessary if you feel better after a few days and then your symptoms return or if the infection lasts more than a week.

How can you tell the difference between a viral and bacterial sore throat?

Sore throat symptoms are typically caused by inflammation due to a virus like the common cold. However, about 15 percent of sore throats are caused by bacteria called streptococcus, or strep. Strep throat requires treatment with an antibiotic, while viral causes of sore throat do not.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a viral infection?

But you can find relief faster with these smart moves.Take it easy. When you’re sick, your body works hard to fight off that infection. … Go to bed. Curling up on the couch helps, but don’t stay up late watching TV. … Drink up. … Gargle with salt water. … Sip a hot beverage. … Have a spoonful of honey.

How long does a viral infection last?

A viral infection usually lasts only a week or two. But when you’re feeling rotten, this can seem like a long time! Here are some tips to help ease symptoms and get better faster: Rest.