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Q.

How are bacterial and viral infections diagnosed?

Related Topics: Bacterium, Virus, Infection
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

8,020 Answers
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A.

In general, you should consult your doctor if you think you have a bacterial or viral infection. Exceptions include the common cold, which is usually self-limiting and not life-threatening.

In some cases, it's difficult to determine the origin of an infection because many ailments -- including pneumonia, meningitis, and diarrhea -- can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. But your doctor usually can pinpoint the cause by listening to your medical history and conducting a physical exam.

If necessary, he or she also can order a blood or urine test to confirm a diagnosis, or a "culture test" of tissue to identify bacterial or viral growth. Occasionally, a biopsy of affected tissue may be required.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: Bacterial and Viral Infections