Bacterial & Viral Infections: What’s the Difference?

June 28, 2019

Bacterial and viral infections are two different beasts. There’s absolutely no benefit to taking an antibiotic to treat a viral infection. Vaccinations prevent viral infections; while antiviral drugs are your only recourse for treating viruses.

Basically, bacteria are everywhere. They’re in the air we breathe, living on your skin, and on everything we touch. Most bacteria are harmless with only 1% of bacteria causing disease, according to the Mayo Clinic; however, they can make you really sick, just ask someone who has had strep throat.
If you feel like you’re getting sick, go see your provider to determine if it’s a virus or a bacterial infection. The two can share similar symptoms and there are instances where illnesses can be caused by either bacteria or viruses, such as pneumonia, meningitis, and diarrhea.
Your provider will review your symptoms, medical history and do a physical exam. He or she may also order a blood or urine test to help identify the infection. It may be a necessary step for determining a suitable treatment.

You could be doing yourself more harm than good by arbitrarily popping an antibiotic when you feel under the weather. That’s because antibiotics can’t differentiate between “good” and “bad” bacteria. We have good bacteria in our intestines that aid with digestion and help to obliterate disease-fighting microbes. Furthermore, the overuse of antibiotics has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Both viral and bacterial infections start with exposure to infected people or contact with contaminated surfaces, food or water. Although it’s impossible for us to live in a bubble, a good start to avoiding sickness is to practice a dedicated handwashing regimen: wet, lather, scrub (20 seconds), rinse, and dry.

Drop by your neighborhood Quick Care Med if you’re feeling under the weather. We offer extended hours and 10 locations to provide the best care possible to get you back on your feet and feeling better. Visit our locations page for your closest urgent care.


The entire staff was very caring. I had my toddler with me and she was a bit rowdy and they gave her crayons with coloring pages and stickers and even a lollipop to help keep her occupied.

Tanya C.

My son scribbled on a piece of paper and handed it to one of the woman in the front, saying that is say how his ears hurt, she accepted it and posted it on the artwork wall, when the PA came in to see him he was made to feel like a big deal because he had known about the paper. This is a place where the staff really cares about their patients and go the extra mile for them

Ron M.

Have been there a few times and hey have always been very fast, kind, courteous and welcoming. Always very helpful especially the front desk. The employee Heather helped me with pharmacy, paperwork and everything I needed help with. Only quick care I go too because of her.

Sapphire B.

I absolutely love our nurse Tiffany. She made our visit so comfortable. I had two very sick little boys who did not want to go to the Dr. She made the at ease in an instant and she took such great care of them. This was at the Quick care on 441 in Ocala Fl. I'll go back to this one because of her. And recommended to all my friends and family. Thanks so much!

Ray L

A Big THANK YOU, to the Staff at Quick Care Med, in Dunnellon!! My Husband was seen, for a couple different ailments, during his visit,, and the Two Practitioners who worked with Him, were AWESOME! They treated my Big, 200 pound, 6 ft. "Baby",, with Respect, Dignity, and Professionalism, and just the right amount of Calming Firmness!! Lol... he's afraid of Needles, and Doctor Offices, in general and I must say, that GWEN, & DEBBIE, were very good to him! Prices for services rendered, were ve

Cindy J.

Great sweet people

Myranda W

I was there yesterday and I've never felt so shocked. The 3 girls I interacted with were the most pleasant and friendly caregivers I've ever dealt with. Idr the rep's name, but she was quick and prompt at taking all my info and with minimal Qs (kinda hard to answer when I have a cold), then Alexis took over. Very sympathetic, nice, and helpful. Then the physician saw me and was charismatic and very funny. Trying to keep me in good spirits. It was like all 3 were happy to be at their posts and to

Julio R

Anytime, we've ever been there, all of the physicians are very caring and helpful, they don't rush or make you feel unimportant... I wish we could have them as our GP

Di C.

Very friendly,professional. Very caring of patients.Victoria was excellent. Took time to listen and made you feel comfortable.

Breonna S

We had Zaib Kahn as the provider and NEVER have I seen such a good bedside manner, as they call it! AND he personally called this a.m. to ask how my husband is feeling! (The pharmacy was closed when we left the ofc., and they asked us to allow until 11 to pick up the RXs, but that's NOT YOUR fault ;D I'm thrilled w/ Mr. Kahn's service and may well use your clinic for ALL my medical needs!!!! THANK YOU

Frank R

Professional staff, caring and organized. Prompt service for DOT related visits.

John S

The absolute BEST! Everyone here is so nice! We've had to come in a few times & they've always taken great care of us. We're usually out within 20-30 min. All the girls up front are very nice & helpful (you don't find that too often), so is the girl that takes your vitals. Dr B is the amazing! He takes his time to listen to what's wrong & always has a big smile. If we could have this office as our primary care location we would

Ryan M
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