April 19, 2012

Using antibiotics correctly is critical

Using antibiotics correctly is critical
By ALLAN TINKER
With perhaps, a long history of being told otherwise, many patients are confused over what to do when they become ill. Here is where Hailey Schiele was of great service to the Northland Community Health Centers dur-ing her stay through the SEARCH program of UND Department of Family and Community Medicine.
Schiele displayed easy to understand, yet complex, information on the use of antibiotics and how they are applicable, depending upon whether the illness is virus or bacterial based.
She noted that bacteria are single-celled organisms usually found all over the inside and outside of our bodies, except in the blood and spinal fluid. Many are not harmful and some may be beneficial.
Disease-casing bacteria can cause illnesses, usually with low-grade fevers. Viruses, much smaller than bacteria, invade healthy cells and reproduce. Exposure to these bugs come from our environment and communities often have their own special blend of “bugs” that is unique to them.
Viruses generally have the following signs and symptoms: high fever, which can last for days; stuffy and runny nose; body aches, sneezing, mild headaches, watery eyes, and sore throat.
If you are ill, get plenty of rest; drink plenty of fluids and avoid pollutants, including cigarette smoke.
Antibiotics can kill bacterial infections but not viral infections. But, a viral infection not properly treated with rest, fluids and over-the-counter pain relievers, may weaken the body’s normal defenses and allow a bacterial infection to gain a foothold, or handhold, whichever.
 


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