Antibiotic caution urged

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 26, 2015

The winter weather often causes people to contract colds, flus and sinus and ear infections. While many people tend to use antibiotics to fight those infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that symptom relief is the best way to treat viral infections.
The CDC advises people to only use antibiotics when necessary or suggested by a healthcare provider. According to the center’s website, taking antibiotics won’t cure an infection or prevent others from getting sick. But the practice may cause unnecessary and harmful side effects and may contribute to antibiotic resistance, which means that bacteria would be able to resist the effects of any antibiotic, according to a press release from the CDC.
Instead of treating viral infections with antibiotics, the CDC suggests getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids and using over-the-counter products. Antibiotics may lead to harmful side effects and future antibiotic-resistant infections.
The best option is to talk to a healthcare professional about the best treatment.
The CDC suggests people avoid the following:
—Don’t demand antibiotics when a healthcare professional doesn’t prescribe it.
—Don’t take an antibiotic for a viral infection.
—Don’t take antibiotics prescribed to someone else.
If a healthcare provider does prescribe an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, the CDC suggests people don’t skip doses, don’t stop taking the antibiotics early unless the provider instructs them to do so and don’t save any of the antibiotics for the next time they get sick.
For more information about virus prevention, visit

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