sick woman blowing her nose in bed with a bacterial or viral infection

What is the Difference Between Bacterial and Viral Infections?

December 23, 2016

When you get sick, you probably don't give much thought to what type of infection it is - you just feel rubbish and want to feel better ASAP. But it matters when it comes to treating your illness. There's two types of infections you can get. Bacterial and viral. So what is the difference between bacterial and viral infections? One responds to medication and the other doesn't. Here's everything you need to know about bacterial vs viral infections.

What is the Difference Between Bacterial and Viral Infections?

Confused about the difference between bacterial and viral infections? We talk you through them both below.

Bacterial Infection

A bacterial infection is when a bacterium has entered your body, found a hospitable environment to grow, set up camp and multiplied. Bacteria grows on or in you, but is separate from you.

Bacterial infections:

  • 'Strep' throat
  • middle ear infection
  • bronchitis
  • food poisoning

Treatment of bacterial infections

To treat a bacterial infection, antibacterial agents can be given from a GP.

Always visit a GP, especially if you are vulnerable, older or if the person feeling unwell is a child.

Propolis Extract

If you're after a natural remedy in addition to GP advice, propolis extract is effective for a number of bacterial infections. Propolis (or bee glue as it's often known) is a resin-like substance produced by honey bees to seal, sterilise and protect the cells of the hive. It's another one of nature’s great medicines!

An effective antibacterial remedy, propolis extract comes in both tablet and liquid form. It can be gargled and is very effective for sterilising 'strep' throats. Gargling propolis extract is also effective for sinus infections and to prevent infections spreading to the ears. 

Viral Infections

A viral infection enters your body in the same way. It attaches to your cell and replicates itself INSIDE your cell. Often, it replicates so many times that the cell bursts which releases lots of viruses which can then infect other cells and do the same. A virus makes you feel tired because it is using your energy to spread. You’re the host.

Viral infections:

  • colds
  • flu
  • sore throat

Treatment of viral infections

In the case of a virus, you can’t just disinfect yourself, because the infection is inside your own cells. You can only support your own immune system and hope that your body can overcome the infection sooner rather than later. There is however, a very good herbal remedy which has antiviral properties: Black Elderberry.

Black Elderberry

The most antiviral natural substance known to man, Black Elderberry works by coating viruses. This disarms their penetrative action, stopping them from infecting healthy cells. Basically, it can stop a viral infection in its tracks. If you start taking it early enough into your cold or flu, it can get rid of it really fast. Black elderberry syrup is one of the most popular products in Evergreen, because it’s effective. Many of our customers use it year after year.

So there you have it, the difference between bacterial and viral infections. Here's hoping we don't encounter either infection too soon!

Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.

It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.

Checked and updated: 18 August 2021