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Antibiotic Resistance: What you should know

Getting sick is something that happens to everybody, but let’s face it, besides the physical discomfort of being ill, it’s also a major inconvenience. When you or your child gets sick that means you have to take time off from work. Sometimes you get sick at the worst possible time, like right before a vacation. We want a quick fix, and think the answer is an antibiotic. The problem is that most of those pesky cold and stomach bugs are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses and using them when they are not indicated can lead to antibiotic resistance. When bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics we have available then we are left with no weapons in our arsenal. It is scary to think about a day when antibiotics are no longer effective.

There is something we can do though:

Do not use an antibiotic unless it was prescribed to you.

If your medical provider prescribes an antibiotic for you then be sure not to skip doses and complete the course as prescribed.

Do not save any of your antibiotic for future use.

If you are diagnosed with a viral illness, do not demand to be prescribed an antibiotic. According to the CDC, one of the most frequently prescribed antibiotics is Azithromycin (commonly known as a Z-pak). It is sometimes used to treat bronchitis. The problem is, bronchitis is usually caused by a virus, and an antibiotic won’t cure a viral infection. Using an antibiotic when it isn’t necessary can cause harm, not just because of antibiotic resistance, but because all antibiotics have potential side effects like allergic reactions and serious diarrheal infections.

If you are sick and unsure whether or not your symptoms are caused by a virus or a bacteria, make an appointment with your medical provider who can determine that for you.

 

Flu Season

Shorter days, cooler weather and the return of the pumpkin spice latte mean that Fall has finally arrived. After a long, hot, dry summer most of us are probably looking forward to the cooler weather. What we’re not looking forward to is flu season. But there is something you can do to protect yourself from getting sick with the flu — get a flu shot. The flu shot is offered at our office. Patients can receive them during a regularly scheduled appointment or during a walk-in visit. To find out more about our walk-in vaccination hours please look under Walk-In Appointments.

Some Facts About the Flu

Flu activity usually starts in October and peaks between January and March. The flu vaccine may prevent you from getting sick with the flu. While it’s not 100% effective, the flu vaccine can make your illness less severe if you do get sick. Try to get the vaccine piror to November in order to maximize your protection.

The most common misconception about the flu vaccine is that it can cause flu illness. The flu vaccine received via injection is made with an inactivated virus and is not infectious.

There are some possible side effects to the flu shot, but most are mild. They include soreness and mild swelling at injection site, low grade fever and aches, which usually resolve in a few days.

So while decorating for Halloween, raking fallen leaves and getting our heating system tuned up are all on our Fall to-do lists we need to make sure getting a flu shot is on there too.

We Love Our Patients...

We want to make sure all who come in for their appointments are protected from unwanted germs. If you have a fever or a cough, please out of courtesy for others, cover your nose and mouth with our complimentary face masks and use the hand sanitizer.

Thank you