Antibiotics Are Not For Flu or Other Viral Illnesses

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Flu is now widespread across the state, according to the state's Chief Medical Officer, so she is issuing a reminder that antibiotics are not the answer.

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"Antibiotics do not treat flu, colds or other viral illnesses, and they don't make patients with viral infections feel better, recover faster, or protect others from getting sick," said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer of the Nebraska Health and Human Services System.

In recent years, nearly all disease-causing bacteria have become more resistant to antibiotics, according to Dr. Mark E. Rupp, epidemiologist at the Nebraska Medical Center and professor of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Infections that were once easily curable with antibiotics are becoming more difficult, or impossible, to treat. The reason is that antibiotics are used extensively in medicine, veterinary practice and agriculture, and bacteria have developed immunity to them.

"The proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is an urgent public health problem," Dr. Rupp said. "These bacterial infections can occur in anyone

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