We’re just getting into cold and flu season, when bacterial and viral infections are most active. As the names imply, bacterial infections such as strep throat are caused by bacteria, and viral infections, such as chickenpox, AIDS and influenza, are caused by viruses. 

Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren't effective against viruses.

That’s why you might get antibiotics for a strep throat, but not the flu, which is viral. Bacteria thrive in many different types of environments.

Viruses on the other hand require living hosts, such as people, plants or animals, to multiply and survive. These take longer to kill off  and require more action. Most bacterial infections are treated with rest and an antibiotic. Some viral infections can be more severe and are tougher to treat. That is why it is so important to get a flu shot which can help prevent influenza this season.

So, how much do you know about preventing a contagious disease?

Click here to start the quiz. 

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