We’ve all nursed a runny nose at some point in our lives, and most of us don’t bat an eyelid before popping in an antibiotic with the first symptom that comes through with the sniffles. However, it is vital to know which culprit- virus or bacterium is causing a nuisance in your body in order to deal with it effectively.
What are Bacteria?
Bacteria are microscopic, single- celled organisms that exist independently or inside a host organism like plant, animal or human. They are extremely resilient and can survive in extreme heat and cold. Most of the bacteria are harmless, in fact, our bodies are home to more than a trillion microorganisms that colonize in our intestines and help in digesting food, destroying disease causing cells, and supplying the body with some vital nutrients like vitamins. Less than 1 percent of the bacterial strains is pathogenic and elicits an infectious response in our bodies. In conducive environments, the bacteria rapidly reproduce and many give out toxins that can damage the cells and make us sick. Some of the infectious bacteria are – Streptococcus, E.Coli, Staphylococcus, etc. and cause diseases like strep throat, ear infections, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections etc.
What are Viruses?
Viruses are even tinier than bacteria. They have an outer protein shell enclosing either DNA or RNA genetic material. Unlike bacteria, they cannot survive without a host. They reproduce only by attaching themselves to cells. They invade the cells and coax them to make new viruses until the cells burst and die. They can also turn normal cells into malignant or cancerous cells. Viruses can cause infectious diseases like common cold, flu, and warts. They can also cause severe illnesses like HIV/AIDS, smallpox and haemorrhagic fevers.
How Does one Differentiate between a Bacterial and viral infection?
Although symptoms are a tell tale sign of an infection, it is not always possible to differentiate between a bacterial and viral infection because their symptoms often overlap. Many diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhea can be caused by either of the two microbes thus making a correct diagnosis an essential requisite. Still, a few hints can help you in this regard:
Generally, a common cold or cough turns out to be viral in nature. You may suspect a secondary bacterial infection if a fever persists after a few days of being infected.
A virus may produce clear or cloudy phlegm, however, yellow, green, or brown tinged mucous are typical bacterial infections.
Most viral illnesses resolve with 2 to 10 days. Whereas, a bacterial illness will put you out of action for longer than 10 days.
A viral infection may or may not be accompanied by a fever. A bacterial infection will be followed by a rise in body temperature.
Common viral infections of the upper respiratory tract are represented by runny nose, cough, low grade fever, sore throat and difficulty in sleeping. However, influenza, also a viral infection is accompanied by intense body ache and high fever. Doctors often prescribe a urine or blood test to confirm a diagnosis. A culture test can also help in identifying the infecting microbe.
List of Common infections
- Syphilis – it is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallid, and is a sexually transmitted disease.
- Gonorrhoea – it is caused by the Neisseria bacteria and is transmitted sexually.
- Flu – it is a common viral infection transmitted through air.
- Measles – it is a viral infection transmitted through air.
- Typhoid fever – it is caused by the bacterium Salmonella enteric. The infection is transmitted through contaminated food and water.
- Tuberculosis – it is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is transmitted through air or by milk of infected cows.
- Herpes – it is a sexually transmitted viral infection caused by the Herpes simplex virus.
- HPV – it is a sexually transmitted viral infection caused by the Human papilloma virus.
Alternative Ways to Treat Bacterial and Viral Infections
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for any bacterial infection. Viral infections can be arrested by antiviral medicines and antibiotics are uselessly employed as they have no effect on the virus.
There are several home remedies that can be useful in bacterial and viral infections. Here are few of them which can be tried by you at home. Needless to say, it is always advisable to consult a medical practitioner before starting any treatment.
Aloe Vera – It is widely used as a natural anti- inflammatory agent. It is also used as an antibacterial and helps boost immunity. The extracted gel can be applied locally for various skin infections or can be consumed in the form of juice.
Turmeric – This is a magical herb which contains antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. This herb is also known to treat cancerous tumours. Turmeric paste can be applied locally on the skin for bacterial infections and the powder can be taken along with milk for respiratory infections.
Garlic – It has powerful antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral properties. Regular consumption of garlic helps to boost immunity levels. It helps lower your blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It has also shown good results in treating cancerous cells. Eating one or two raw cloves of garlic daily is a healthy practice.
Ginger – it has antiviral as well as antibacterial properties. It is a strong antioxidant, antiseptic and antimicrobial too. It can help alleviate sore throat problems and viral cold and flu too. Drink one or two cups of ginger tea daily to increase your immunity levels.
Probiotics – they help the body increase the good bacteria and fight the bad bacteria. Have two cups of fresh yogurt daily to boost your immunity. Probiotics are best in treating bacterial skin infections, intestinal and stomach infections, etc.
There has been a surge in the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains lately and anti-virals too only inhibit the spread of the virus. They are ineffective in removing the virus out of the body. Moreover, antibiotics and other conventional medicines also carry a host of side effects with them. This has led to more and more people opting for other alternative forms of treatment. Growing research on plant extracts and homeopathic ingredients has revealed that these natural remedies can be effective in getting rid of an infection.
Biogetica has always strived to provide holistic solutions and has developed unique natural protocols that have the best combinations of nature’s resources that help bring balance across the molecular, energetic and informational aspects of your body and boost your immune system to make the body an inhospitable place for the infection to thrive. To know more about our natural approaches and get expert advice on your condition, please consult our Doctors at www.biogetica.com without any delay.