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When that common cold hits, most people rush to their doctor thinking antibiotics will cure their symptoms.

When that common cold hits, most people rush to their doctor thinking antibiotics will cure their symptoms. But, antibiotics don't help treat viruses like the cold, flu, bronchitis, and many sinus infections. And yet, doctors continue to over-prescribe antibiotics, often due to patient pressure. This practice can kill healthy bacteria that we need, and fuels the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria --which infect nearly 2 million Americans annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A recent study analyzed 184,000 outpatient visits reported in the 2010-2011 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Nearly 13% of these visits resulted in antibiotic prescriptions. Among all conditions, for every 1,000 people annually, 506 prescriptions were written for antibiotics, of which only 353 were appropriate. This suggests that nearly 1/3 of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. Next time you have a cold, sore throat, or other upper respiratory infection, think twice before asking for that antibiotic prescription.

Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2016

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Title Annotation:SNAP SHOTS
Publication:Women's Health Activist
Date:Jul 1, 2016
Words:170
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