Differences between virus and bacteria

Dec ,19 2016

Infectious diseases are caused by microbes; these small organisms which are invisible to the naked eye can invade our body to get multiplied, causing infection. The symptoms caused by an infection depend on the location, nature of the infection and type of microbe.

The two major types of microbes are the bacteria and the virus. Viruses are the smallest in size of all the microbes and they are able to attack almost and living organism. A virus uses another organism, like a human being, a dog, a plant, etc. as a host. The viruses invade cells of the host organism and use part of that cell mechanism to multiply itself. In this way, hundreds and hundreds of new virus are produced, which can then spread throughout the body and infect new cells and even new organisms.

Viruses can’t survive outside the body for long periods of time, they survival outside the organism is limited from few seconds to few minutes after release.

Bacteria are much larger than virus (although the smaller known bacterium is the same size as the biggest known virus), living almost anywhere and most of them don’t cause infection. A bacterium multiplies itself by division, and when in favorable conditions (temperature, nutrients, etc.) some of them can multiply every 20 minutes.

The human intestines contain a large number of bacteria and normally these bacteria don’t cause any problem, being in many cases beneficial to the host in various ways, like digestion. When the body’s immunity gets week the balance between these bacteria may become disturbed and causes symptoms like diarrhea, constipation or cramps.

Viruses and some bacteria can cause infections that can be detected locally by causing redness and swelling, pain and sometimes the tissue (skin) can also become warm. Common symptoms of a viral or bacterial infection are fever, fatigue and general malaise. Mostly, a viral infection is a simple one, and the complaints subside by themselves. It is difficult to eliminate viruses thoroughly and specific medicines need to be made to fight specific virus. Usually a bacteria infection also resolves by itself, if this is not the case, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, not against viruses.

It is important to prevent the spread of microbes, where good hygiene can play an important role in prevention.