ANTIBIOTICS AREN'T ALWAYS THE ANSWER
DID YOU KNOW?
- Antibiotic resistance is one of the world's most pressing public health threats.
- Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to combat life-threatening bacterial diseases.
- Increased antibiotic resistance is compromising the effectiveness of antibiotics.
- Patients, healthcare providers, hospital administrators, and policy makers are working together to employ effective strategies for improving appropriate antibiotics use - ultimately saving lives.
Colds and flu are an inevitable part of college life. Living in a residence hall, attending classes and social events bring students in close contact with each other which leads to germ sharing. Many students come to Health Services with sore throats, congestion, etc. wanting an antibiotic, unaware that most of their symptoms can be caused by a virus. The CDC has initiated a Get Smart Campaign designed to inform professionals and the public about the overuse of antibiotics. This campaign stress the fact that antibiotics don't work for every illness.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A VIRAL OR BACTERIAL INFECTION? Ask your healthcare provider and follow their advice on what to do about your illness. Remember, colds are caused by viruses and should not be treated with antibiotics.
WON'T AN ANTIBIOTIC HELP ME FEEL BETTER QUICKER SO THAT I CAN GET BACK TO CLASS WHEN I GET A COLD OR THE FLU? No, antibiotics do nothing to help a viral illness and won't help you feel better sooner. Ask your provider what other treatments are available to treat your symptoms.
IF MUCUS FROM THE NOSE CHANGES FROM CLEAR TO YELLOW OR GREEN - DOES THIS MEAN I NEED AN ANTIBIOTIC? No, Yellow or green mucus does not mean that you have a bacterial infection. It is normal for mucus to get thick and change color during a viral cold.
We at Health Services want to keep our students healthy. This can be accomplished by following the CDC's advice, protecting our health in the long run by not prescribing antibiotics for colds, flu, most coughs, bronchitis, and sore throats not caused by strep or runny noses. We test and culture for strep throat if warranted and treat if positive. For more information please go to www.cdc.gov/getsmart.
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