Did you know antibiotics cure bacterial infections, not viral infections? Colds, the flu and many upper respiratory infections, as well as some ear infections, are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Taking antibiotics for such illnesses will not cure the infection, keep others from catching the it, or help you feel better. Rest, fluids, and over-the-counter products may be your best treatment option.
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 you really need them. 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.
Widespread overuse and innappropriate use of antibiotics is fueling an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. So the next time you really need an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, it may not work.
Learn more at: www.cdc.gov/getsmart