Many people who start to feel a flu or common cold coming on, immediately (and incorrectly!) say “I need to get some antibiotics from my DR”
This is a very common misconception of modern medicine – Antibiotics do not kill viruses!
Antibiotics are for treating bacteria NOT viruses such as the flu. A main distinction between bacteria and virus is that bacteria can live without a host, and viruses need a host to survive (like us). Viruses are also highly adaptable which gives them the edge on bacteria most of the time.
There are good bacteria – Those that we need such as intestinal bacteria that aid digestion, and bad bacteria – Those that are foreign to the body’s normal functions.
Viruses are much smaller than bacteria, and invade the host (us) by hijacking certain cell machinery and operations to replicate and take over the body.
You will be surprised just how resilient your body is at defending itself and killing off most bacterial and viral infections. However, in some circumstances (especially in those that are immunosupressed, eg. people on chemotherapy) the body may struggle to do this effectively and on it’s own. This is where medical intervention comes in.
In many cases when you become unwell, the body is fighting of the infection in an attempt to kill off the invasion. The most well-known side-effect of this is your body increase it’s temperature in a bid to kill the infection.
If you are feeling unwell, and symptoms have not improved or worsened after 3-5 days, then it is time to see a GP and discuss medical intervention.
Remember though, never take antibiotics that you already have at home or anything that your GP has not recommended. The incorrect use of antibiotics may make you feel worse, and only contributes to the increasing number of resilient-strains of bacteria that we are creating ourselves (As our medicines get better, so too do the bacteria as it evolves to survive).
As always, if you have any questions or doubts, see your GP today – Call Pulse on 07 3272 8543 or book online 24/7 at www.pulsemedical.com.au
– Nurse Dean (Pulse Medical)