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Blood test can determine whether illness is caused by virus or bacteria

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Researchers at Duke University say they have created a blood test that can determine whether a person's respiratory illness is caused by a bacterial infection or a virus, with over 90 percent accuracy.

What's more, the test only takes about 12 hours to get results. Current methods take several days to figure out whether a bacteria or a virus made a person sick, and they aren't always accurate.

Dr. Louis Weiss, professor of medicine and pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, explained to CBSNews.com that the test has the potential to be extremely beneficial because it can help with diagnosis and prevent doctors from giving unnecessary antibiotics.

Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections and are useless against viral ones. Since both types of infections cause similar symptoms, it can be hard for doctors to determine which one is causing a patient's illness.

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