The CDC: Be smart about antibiotics

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As the cold and flu season bears down upon us, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said more people need to know how  to properly use antibiotics.      

In a national campaign called,  "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week,"  the CDC is hoping to spread the word that antibiotics cure bacterial infections but do nothing to cure viral infections, such as colds, flu, and most cases of bronchitis and sore throat.

What’s more, health experts say, those who take antibiotics for viral infections are not only doing nothing to improve their health, they may be increasing their risk of getting a later infection that will resist antibiotic treatment.

The CDC advises people to consult a doctor before taking any antibiotics. And if your doctor prescribes them to you, complete the prescribed course of treatment. This is true, even if you’re feeling better,  as some bacteria may survive and re-infect you if you stop treatment too soon.