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Antibiotics Aren't Always the Answer

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Antibiotics Aren't Always the Answer | Features | CDC

(The information in this article is as applicable to our
birds and other pets as it is to human beings
)

Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, most sore throats and bronchitis, and some ear infections. Unneeded antibiotics may lead to future antibiotic-resistant infections.

Did You Know?
  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the world's most pressing public health threats.
  • Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to combat life-threatening bacterial disease, but using antibiotics can also result in side effects.
  • Antibiotic use leads to new drug-resistant germs and increased health risks
  • Colds and many other upper respiratory infections, as well as some ear infections, are caused by viruses, not bacteria. If antibiotics are used too often for things they can't treat-like colds or other viral infections-they can stop working effectively against bacteria when really needed. Antibiotic resistance-when antibiotics can no longer cure bacterial infections-has been a concern for years and is considered one of the world's most critical public health threats.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics remains a problem. Widespread overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics continues to fuel an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Get smart about when antibiotics are appropriate-to fight BACTERIAL infections.

Using antibiotics for viral infections
  • Will not cure the infection
  • Will not keep other people from getting sick
  • Will not help you or your child feel better
  • May cause unnecessary and harmful side effects

What Not to Do
  • Do not use antibiotics unless a bacterial infection has been diagnosed.
  • Do not take an antibiotic for a viral infection.
  • Do not use antibiotics prescribed without a trained professional's diagnosis. Taking the wrong medicine may delay correct treatment and allow bacteria to increase.
  • If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic for bacterial infection:
    [*]Do not skip doses.
    [*]Do not save antibiotics for the next illness​
 
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