Antibiotics And The Common Cold

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If you have the cold or flu think twice before asking your doctor for an antibiotic. The Centers For Disease Control say they won't work for a virus.

Experts say antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses, and colds and the flu are caused by viruses.

They say taking an antibiotic when it's not needed can actually do more harm than good. Research shows when antibiotics are used incorrectly to treat viral infections, you aren't getting the best care for their condition, and your immune system can actually become resistant to antibiotics.

"People indiscriminately taking antibiotics actually does harm. Antibiotics are extremely important and powerful drugs and they save lives, when they are used appropriately," says Patrick Burke with the Health Department of the Mid Ohio Valley.

West Virginia has one of the highest numbers of outpatient antibiotic use.

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