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Radio Shows | CDC — Antibiotics, when and when not to use them | mp3wmawav

CDC — Antibiotics, when and when not to use themI just dread it when I wake up and have that scratchy sensation in the back of my throat. Because it may just mean I am getting a cold or the flu!

Every year I hope I donít get it; a runny nose, sore throat, or cough! If Iím not so lucky, I know I should probably just ride it out. Itís likely a virus causing those symptoms.

Most viral upper respiratory infections, or URIs, last about two weeks, but many people actually take antibiotics believing they will cure them!

What they donít know is antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses which are the cause of colds, flu, most sore throats, some ear infections and bronchitis. Treating a virus with an antibiotic is not only ineffective, itís a big problem.

Misusing antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance — not just here but globally and itís among the most pressing public health problems. Almost every type of bacteria has become stronger and less responsive to antibiotics.

These antibiotic-resistant bacteria can quickly spread, be difficult to cure and more expensive to treat. You may have heard of MRSA a deadly bacteria thatís become resistant to many antibiotics.

Ok, what if you are prescribed an antibiotic — what should you do?

Start off by taking it exactly as prescribed, finishing the prescription even if youíre feeling better – this goes for children, too. If treatment stops too soon, some of the bacteria may survive and re-infect you!

If you get a URI this cold and flu season, try to get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid smoking and second-hand smoke.

Over–the–counter medicines may relieve some symptoms, but be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

What you shouldnít do is take antibiotics unless prescribed by your doctor.

Ultimately weíre responsible for keeping these powerful drugs powerful… by using them correctly.

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For more information…

For over 60 years, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been dedicated to protecting health and promoting quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability. The CDC is committed to programs that reduce the health and economic consequences of the leading causes of death and disability, thereby ensuring a long, productive, healthy life for all people. The CDC collaborates to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health — through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.

Among their programs is one to educate the public on the appropriate use of antibiotics. Are you aware that colds, flu, most sore throats, and bronchitis are caused by viruses? Did you know that antibiotics do not help fight viruses? It's true. Plus, taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment. To find out more, please visit the following web sites:

  1. Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work
  2. Get Smart About Antibiotics Week
  3. Animation of Antimicrobial Resistance
  4. National MRSA Education Initiative

MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. They have an excellent web page about MRSA that is well worth reading here.


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