WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)–The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a new report on antibiotic resistance threats, saying more than 2.8 million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections every year and as a result 35,000 people will die from these infections.
Nurse practitioner, Rachel Reiton says since flu season is here, more and more people are wanting to get on antibiotic medications to treat, which almost always is not the solution for the flu.
“…Antibiotics do not treat the flu and they don’t treat the cold and they don’t treat nasal congestion, which is what we see a lot of during the holidays” says, Reiton. “In fact we see about 30 to 50% of antibiotics prescribed in the U.S. are actually unnecessary.”
An antibiotic is necessary for infections like strep throat, a urinary tract infection, pneumonia and sinus infections. Common antibiotics prescribed are:
Yet, it’s important to take all of the medication as prescribed to wipe out the infection completely. Not taking it all can create antibiotic resistance and taking too much can create a plethora of problems such as:
- Killing off “good” bacteria
- Kidney failure
- Adverse skin reactions
- Severe Diarrhea
In fact, Reiton points out there’s been about 12,000 deaths every year from severe diarrhea from antibiotic use alone in the U.S.
“True infections we need antibiotics for and it saves lives, but this epidemic of misuse is causing a lot of illnesses and actually deaths in the U.S. that are completely unnecessary.”
Instead of using antibiotics for viral infections like the flu, reiton suggests going with over-the-counter medications (Nyquil, Benadryl, ect.) adequate hydration, adequate sleep, and staying home away from others. The best means of prevention is practicing good hygiene and getting vaccinated.
“Not only is the flu vaccination incredibly important to keep yourself healthy, but also your family and your community. The more people in the community get their flu shot, the better the community is.”
To schedule your next appointment or flu shot with United Regional, click here.