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Respiratory tract infections are one of the most common diagnoses in the Western world, and in 90-95% of cases they are caused by viruses. Depending on the virus, relatively harmless initial symptoms may develop into illnesses such as sinusitis or chronic bronchitis.
Although the vast majority of respiratory tract infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics are probably prescribed more often than anything else to treat them. Antibiotics fight bacterial infections, not viruses, and are therefore generally entirely ineffective. They have side effects, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Fungal infections and allergies may also develop. Using antibiotics also increases the risk of bacterial resistance, so that antibiotics may be ineffective when they are really needed.
Use antibiotics only when necessary
The American government′s Center for Disease Control and Prevention says: ”Taking antibiotics when you or your child has a virus may do more harm than good. In fact, in children, antibiotics are the most common cause of emergency department visits for adverse drug events. Rest, fluids, and over-the-counter products may be your or your child's best treatment option.”
» Treating children with antibiotics
The Center advises people to get smart about when antibiotics are appropriate — namely, when fighting bacterial infections. Taking them for viral infections, such as a cold, most sore throats, acute bronchitis and many sinus or ear infections
The European equivalent, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, even organises a European Antibiotic Awareness Day (» EAAD) each year to address the issues of using antibiotics.
A non-antibiotic alternative
As antibiotic resistance increases, it is more and more important that we use alternatives. There is a natural clinically proven alternative that is effective in tackling the root of the infection. It is safe and well tolerated and does not cause resistance: EPs® 7630, the reliable, clinically proven medicine extracted from Pelargonium sidoides.