Virus v. Bacteria - Which is Worse?

Which will do the most damage?

Sanaz Majd, MD,
November 22, 2011

Virus infections are very common, and most of them are pretty wimpy.;They cause cough, runny nose, and maybe a short case of the runs -- not exactly a fun frolic, but not deadly.;The virus infections that cause respiratory symptoms like stuffy nose and cough cause the body to put out a lot of mucous.

Unfortunately, this mucous is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for some bacteria.;If mucous builds up in the sinuses, bacteria can creep in, take up shop in there, and cause the infection called sinusitis.;In the same way, mucous in the ears can lead to bacterial ear infections, and lung mucous can turn into pneumonia.;These bacteria are much worse guests than the viruses, causing pain, fever, and even more serious complications.

It's important to remember that some bacteria and;viruses;aren’t bad. They wipe their feet and make sure they follow the local customs. Some bacteria even;benefit us, and we become sick when they are not present.

Sick Woman image courtesy of Shutterstock


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