Difference Between Bacterial Infection vs. Viral Infection

Main Difference

Although both infections are caused by microbes. The main difference between a bacterial and viral infection is, bacteria is a single celled organism having a cell wall and it tend to reproduce on its own. Viruses have no proper cell wall and are obligate parasites and they multiply only inside the host. Bacterial infections are caused by bacterias and viral infections are caused by viruses.

What is Bacterial Infection?

Bacterial infection could be mild to severe. Bacteria can cause simple throat infection to severe life threatening diseases. They are capable of existing in extreme environments as well. If a person gets a bacterial infection then he or she is supposed to have fever and increased lymphocyte count as well. If you are diagnosed with a bacterial infection then proper broad spectrum antibiotics are given to overcome the disease. Bacterial infection is also transmitted, even via respiratory droplets.

What is Viral Infection?

Viruses are obligate parasites, they tend to replicate inside the host. They are very smaller in size, even smaller than bacteria. They are also transmitted from one person to another. Viral infections could be mild to severe. A patient do not experience fever in viral infection, usually. The incubation period of most viruses varies from days to months.We can give antivirals to treat some serious viral infections.

Key Differences

  1. Viruses are smaller than bacterias
  2. In bacterial infection, patient represents with a fever. But in viral infection, patient may or may not have fever.
  3. In viral infection infection, the color of mucous is usually clear or white. While in bacterial infection, mucous is usually colored.
  4. In viral infection, widespread symptoms come into play. Bacterial infections are usually localized.
  5. Most viral infections last for 3-11 days. While bacterial infections last longer than 10 days at least.
  6. Most bacteria are harmless and are present in the body as opportunistic bacteria. But there is no such scenario in case of viruses.

Comparison Video

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