What are the Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses?
When we have complaints such as headache, fever and sore throat, we need to apply correct treatment to overcome this situation. Viruses and bacteria are examined as two different types and their treatments are also different. So, first of all, we need to understand whether our infection is due to bacteria or viruses. Otherwise, the treatment cannot be very successful. So what are the bacteria and viruses ? what are the differences and similarities between them ? Let's examine them together.
What are the similarities?
Before we sort out their differences, let's take a look at the similarities between bacteria and viruses. Bacteria are small enough to be seen only with a microscope, whereas, viruses can only be observed under an electron microscope. Again, both can be transmitted through coughs, sneezes, kissing, sexual intercourse, contact, pets, cattle and insects such as ticks and fleas. While both bacteria and viruses can cause short-term illnesses such as acute infections, they can also cause long-term illnesses such as chronic infections. Since both groups can cause moderate, severe or fatal illnesses, it is a great benefit to understand which microbe is causing your illness.
What are the Differences?
What are the viruses and bacteria that are so similar in symptoms and structure, what are the differences between them? Let's examine this.
The key difference between these two groups is the method they use to survive and reproduce. Bacteria, which are single-celled organisms with DNA, ribosomes, cytoplasm, cell walls and cell membranes, can survive independently of a living thing or using the body of a living thing as a host. They have tail-like whips and feather-like structures that help them move and attach to the surfaces. Bacteria, which do not need any other living cells to survive, can survive in any environment. Infections in the throat, ear and urinary tract are the most common bacterial infections and can be treated with antibiotics. But not all bacteria are harmful. We also benefit from the bacteria in our intestines in the production of cheese and yogurt and the digestion of some foods.
Viruses, unlike bacteria, need a living cell to live. All viruses have a protein sheath called capsid in their structure, so they can continue their vital activities and reproduce in the cell. Using the host cell, they reproduce their own DNA or RNA, and in this way make copies of themselves and attack other cells. The infected cell dies. In addition to illnesses such as flu, colds and measles, viruses can also cause epidemics such as COVID-19, SARS, MERS and Ebola. Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics. Special treatments such as anti-viral medicine are applied to the viruses and vaccines are produced according to virus type.