“Superbugs” aren’t a distant threat. There have been at least five cases in the U.S. of bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics, and these mutants have the potential to kill 10 million people per year by 2050. Cumulative exposure allows the bugs to adapt, and we’re exposing ourselves to more and more of it. Research found that antibiotic consumption rates increased worldwide from 11.3 to 15.7 defined daily doses (DDD’s) between 2000 to 2015. In South Africa, the number is worse: antibiotic consumption increased from 12 to 25 DDD’s.
Plus, most antibiotics we use just isn’t necessary and when resistance emerges in one place, it quickly spreads to other parts of the world. Reduce your use and opt for other meds at the doc’s office. Here are a few illnesses where the drugs are wrongly shilled.
It can be caused by at least 200 different viruses (which antibiotics can’t help). OTC decongestants, fluids, and fever reducers, like Panado, can ease your pain.
Only 5 to 10 percent of adult cases are caused by strep. Your doc can determine if you need meds. Try ice chips or lozenges for relief if it’s not a bacterial infection.
Less than 10 percent of infections are bacterial. If you have trouble breathing, you may have bacterial pneumonia (doctor and antibiotics, stat!). Otherwise, OTC meds and fluids will help.
Up to 98 percent of cases are due to a virus, which antibiotics won’t treat. Most cases of viral sinusitis will clear up in 10 days (nasal sprays can ease congestion). If not, see a doctor: blocked sinuses can lead to a secondary bacterial infection, which could require antibiotics.