Understanding Bacterial Respiratory Infections

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Family Physician; Chair, Family Physician Airways Group of Canada

The common cold is the most common respiratory tract infection.  It is caused by a virus.  There are other respiratory tract infections, such as sinusitis or bronchitis, which may be caused by bacteria.

Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, but they can help fight off bacterial respiratory infections.  Understanding the difference between viral and bacterial infections, and knowing when to see a doctor are important when managing respiratory infections.

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