Similar symptoms, different treatments

Welcome to cold and flu season. (Reminder: It’s not too late to get your flu shot!)

If your little one is already sniffling, coughing and sneezing, you might wonder whether it was a virus or bacteria that got them sick, and what you can do to help.

Sometimes the symptoms of viral and bacterial infections seem the same, but there’s a big difference between the two, and they’re treated differently, explains Frank Esper, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist.


Credit: iStock, grinvalds

Woman with sick baby calling doctor. Worried mom looking at thermometer showing high temperature of her little child and calling doctor for advice.

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