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Difference Between Viral and Bacterial Infections


Kristin Vinueza, from UT Health Austin’s Primary Care Clinic discusses the difference between viral and bacterial infections

It is important that you pay attention to symptoms you may be experiencing when you are sick. Visiting your primary care provider can also be helpful in figuring out what kind of infection you have and whether or not you may need antibiotics as a form of treatment. Antibiotics are not appropriate for viral infections as they do not respond to antibiotics and can cause unwanted side-effects and can lead to resistance if used unnecessarily.

For many viral infections, vaccines act as a vital preventative measure you can take to protect yourself as well as your family and community. Stay up-to-date on yearly vaccines such as the flu shot and make sure you have received vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella. You can also receive boosters as an adult if needed. To avoid getting sick, it’s recommended you wash your hands, avoid contact with others who may be ill and if you do get sick, rest, drink plenty of fluids and see your primary care provider!

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin, the group practice designed and managed by the faculty and staff of the Dell Medical School, focuses the expertise of a team of experienced medical professionals to deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality. Our experienced healthcare professionals treat each patient as an individual, with unique circumstances, priorities and beliefs. Working with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room, and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.