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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Excuse me, but the flu is a virus

Viruses, under creative Commons licence by

This is a VERY short blog:  I am just amazed how many people seem to not know that a cold and the flu are all viral conditions!  EVEN SCIENTISTS! So just to clarify.  There are at least (hedging my bets) three types of infection you can get: (1) Bacterial, (2) viral and (3) parasitic.   
A "cold" is a virus.
The "flu" is a virus.
"A virus" is a virus (people often say, "I don't have a cold/the flu I have a virus"!!).

Typically, but not exclusively food poisoning will be bacterial.  (And parasites  include tapeworms and fleas.)

The distinction between a virus and bacteria is pretty crucial: Antibiotics are anti-bacterial, but have no effect on viruses. Sometimes, a bad cold, with all the sneezing and wheezing and lying around indoors can leave with you with a secondary bacterial infection, but wasn't the primary cause!   In terms of how viruses and bacteria are different... well just log on to Wikipedia!

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