Fever. Sore throat. And a general funk.
You know you feel bad, but what should you do to treat it?
The answer depends on the source. Every day, doctors must decide if infections are caused by viruses or bacteria. That answer can determine the proper type of treatment.
Some viruses cause symptoms that resemble bacterial infections, and some bacteria can cause symptoms that resemble viral infections. Sore throats and pneumonia are two such examples.
Antibiotics do kill specific bacteria. But the reality is, most infections aren't caused by bacteria. Viral infections are far more common.
Antibiotics cannot kill viruses or help you feel better when you have a virus. With viral infections, antibiotics do not help because the medication targets bacteria, not viruses.
While antibiotics won't help with viral infections, there a few anti-viral drugs that may be able to help. An example is medication used for severe influenza.
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