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Legal drug is still a danger.

Patients are being joined in the waiting room by a detective trying to track down the truth about antibiotics.

Cartoon character Moxy Malone is being used in a special roadshow organised by Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust to raise awareness of overusing the drugs.

Moxy, the figurehead for a campaign jointly funded by PCTs in the region, is featured on radio and TV as well as buses and posters, to explain that antibiotics only work on bacterial infections.

GPs in Middlesbrough and Eston currently have the highest level of antibiotic prescribing in England.

But scientists predict that in ten years, the common drugs will become useless in the fight against infection.

Jo Linton, head of medicines management at Middlesbrough PCT, said: "The message is simple.

"Antibiotics are just not effective against viruses, which cause most coughs and colds.

"This can lead to the growth of germs, which are resistant to the commonly used antibiotics with serious consequences to the patient."
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Title Annotation:Life Health
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jan 29, 2005
Words:159
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