Are antibiotics the answer?

Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

The children are back in school, the sun sits low in the sky, and we are spending our days inside. It is this time of year when we gather to break bread and share stories. We share our germs, too. I am here to wish you good health, and give a few pointers to help you stay healthy, and stop the spread of germs that can cause infection.

  • Wash hands often. The most important times are after touching your nose or face, after going to the bathroom, and before eating.
  • Update your immunizations. Flu shots are now available at the Southern Ute Health Center. They are recommended for everyone over six months of age.
  • Stay home when you are sick. No need to share.
  • Drink plenty of water. Hydration keeps your eyes, nose, mouth, and skin moist, so they keep germs from entering the body.
  • Get 150 minutes of physical activity every week. This helps keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
  • Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. This can put you at risk of getting sick easily, and may slow your recovery.

When you are sick and suffering, medications can help … sometimes. Antibiotics will only help if your sickness is caused by bacteria. Unfortunately most coughs and colds are caused by viruses, and antibiotics don’t help. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can put you at risk for infections that are harder to treat later. Below is a list of common infections, and what usually causes them, and whether antibiotics can help.

  • See your doctor if you are sick and have:
  • Fever with a temperature 100.4 or higher
  • You get sicker after several days, not better
  • You have chronic illness like diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease
  • Age under 2 years

 

Bacteria

Bacteria or Virus

Virus

Strep Throat

Ear Infection

Cold

Tuberculosis

Sinus Infection

Flu

Whooping Cough

Bronchitis

Sore Throat

Urinary Tract Infection

Antibiotics?

Antibiotics?

Antibiotics?

Yes

Maybe

No

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