It is sometimes confusing what causes us to feel sick. Sometimes it is a bacteria and other times it is a virus. If a bacteria is making us sick, we can use antibiotics to kill the microbes and we get better. But if our sickness is caused by a virus we usually have to wait for our bodies to fight off the sickness. A cold or the flu are examples of an illness caused by a virus. Taking antibiotics for a viral infection will not help fight off the virus, but rather kills off the good bacteria in our bodies that we need for protection.
At Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, we want to keep you safe and protect your body from becoming antibiotic resistant. During your hospital or clinic visit for an illness, your doctor will do a thorough exam to determine whether you are sick from a bacteria or a virus. If it is a bacteria, you may get medicine to help you kill off the infection. If it is a virus, you may get medicine to help you feel more comfortable while your body fights off the infection.
We encourage you and your advocate to Speak UP! and help reduce the overuse of antibiotics.
SpeakUp series brought to you by the Quality Team at Memorial Hospital.