How Do I Know If I Need an Antibiotic?

When you start to feel sick, you might immediately think you need to be placed on an antibiotic. But that is not necessarily the case.

Our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson wants to help you understand the difference between a viral infection and a bacterial infection so you can know the best treatment option for you.

Do I Automatically Need to Take an Antibiotic for an Infection?

It depends on the source of an infection. When you fall ill with a bacterial infection, the bacteria is able to grow on its own. Therefore, an antibiotic is often an effective treatment.

However, when you are diagnosed with a virus, it needs a host in order to thrive. An antibiotic is not effective treatment for viral infections.

Bacterial Infection Types

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Strep throat
  • Ear infection
  • Pinkeye

What If I Have a Virus?

Because antibiotics do not help with a virus, it is important to just let the condition run its course. However, there are things you can do in the meantime, such as using a humidifier to find relief from congestion, gargling warm salt water for a sore throat, getting plenty of rest, and drinking lots of water.

Viral Infection Types

  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • Shingles
  • Chickenpox
  • Rotavirus

Have you fallen ill? Visit AFC Urgent Care Hixson today to see whether you are suffering from a bacterial infection or a virus.