About Viral and Bacterial Throat Infections

It is known that if you have a sore throat which does not cause many problems, is not severe, and you also have symptoms caused by a flu , then, you can follow some remedies in order to feel better.
You can drink a lot of fluids, humidify your bedroom by using a steamer, take non-prescription throat lozenges, gargle with warm salt water several times daily, and you can also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain.

In some cases, the sore throat can be severe, and can last more than 5-7 days. In this situation, it is necessary that you seek medical help. There can appear symptoms that should determine you to go to the doctor. We can mention here difficulty opening the mouth, swallowing, breathing, severe and prolonged sore throat, blood in saliva or phlegm, fever, earache, rash, lump in the neck and hoarseness lasting over 2 weeks.

It is important to know if the patient has a viral or a bacterial infection. Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria, and they are being prescribed when the patient suffers of streptococcal or other bacterial infection. Usually, the doctor prescribes penicillin or erythromycin, but there is a number of bacterial throat infections that do not respond to penicillin. In this case, there is prescribed another antibiotic.
Antibiotics should not be used when we are dealing with a viral infection, because they will have no effect against the virus, they work only against bacterial infections.
The viruses lower the body’s resistance to bacterial infections, so there exists the possibility that a combined infection to appear, situation that requires the use of antibiotics.
It is important to take antibiotics as long as the doctor says it is necessary – usually for ten days- because, otherwise there exists the possibility for the remaining bacteria to cause a worse infection and to develop resistance to the antibiotic.

To find out if a streptococcal infection is present, the doctor will perform a strep culture test. When the test is negative, the doctor will prescribe you a treatment basing on the severity of your symptoms and the appearance of your throat on examination.
When the strep culture test is positive, an antibiotic treatment is started, and some doctors may recommend that the treatment to be followed by the patient’s family members too, because streptococcal infections are very contagious.

You can’t keep a strep infection away, but you can take some measures of precaution. You should avoid close physical contact with infected persons, sharing towels, napkins and utensils with them, and another wise thing to do is to wash your hands as often as possible. It is known that bacterial infections are very contagious, but practicing good sanitary habits helps us to lower the risk of getting an infection.

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