>>The reason why a doctor prescribes antibiotics for a viral infection, is that
>the virus usually weakens the immune system and allows bacteria that is
>normally present to 'flare-up'. In this way the patients viral infection is
>not complicated. Viruses are notoriously hard to get rid of, so the best
>doctors can do in most cases is to prevent bacterial infection, and let the
>body combat the virus.
Am I the only one who finds this sort of thing painful to read?
This attitude among patients, coupled with physicians who find
it easier to prescribe antibiotics and save themselves a 20-
minute argument with patients, is demolishing the effectiveness
of our best antibiotics through overuse. In Europe they don't
even treat most documented otitis media with antibiotics, here
in the US we hand out valuable antibiotics for every sniffle.
Antibiotic resistance is not an academic issue, but a massive
and growing problem in the real world. We will head for disaster
if we don't change attitudes like the above!