Like a bad penny, antibiotic resistance seems to keep turning up everywhere. And now, in the age of the COVID-19, it’s threatening to make another unwanted appearance.
Once again, some well-meaning doctors may be accidentally making things worse with some bad calls. As a new report reveals, far too many coronavirus patients are being pumped full of useless antibiotics.
That could leave some already sick folks battling a whole new wave of dangerous symptoms.
The new study finds far too many desperate docs are practicing “kitchen sink” medicine right now. They’re throwing anything and everything at the coronavirus, including those unnecessary antibiotics, thinking that “something” is better than nothing.
But, as you’ll see in a moment, that’s far from true.
Coronavirus patients given inappropriate antibiotics
The new study looked at how coronavirus patients were treated in the first months of the outbreak in the nation’s biggest hotspot at the time, New York City.
There, they found, seven in 10 patients with the infection were given antibiotics.
And let’s be honest, in this case, it’s easy to see why. After all, helpless doctors were facing gravely ill patients with very few options. It likely felt like a no-win situation, especially in the earliest days of this infection when we knew next to nothing.
But the new study included patients who were sick in May. By then, we ALL knew we were dealing with a virus, not bacteria.
Antibiotics simply do NOT work against viruses. And just four percent of the patients in the study had a coexisting bacterial infection. So in the vast majority of cases, the drugs were simply inappropriately prescribed.
“Kitchen sink” medicine puts us ALL in danger
Health crisis or not, doctors are in the habit of using “just in case” antibiotics for nearly any illness regardless if they can actually help. And this is despite constant warnings that overuse of these meds has caused some germs to develop resistance.
It’s a frightening situation that makes these powerful drugs useless when they ARE appropriate and desperately needed. And now experts are warning if we’re not careful things could get a whole lot worse.
A sudden surge in antibiotic use linked to the more than five million U.S. coronavirus cases could lead to a nightmare wave of these “superbugs.”
That means vulnerable folks who are already fighting COVID-19 could suddenly find themselves battling deadly “secondary” infections tied to the overuse of these medications.
And the danger doesn’t end there. That same wave could come crashing down on the rest of us, too, as those resistant bacteria spread into the community.
Obviously, if you’re sick, you need to listen to your doctor. But if he prescribes an antibiotic for any viral infection – the common cold, the flu, or the novel new coronavirus – don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Find out why he thinks you need the meds. And ask him what other options you may have besides antibiotics. And if you don’t like the answers get a second opinion.
Whether or not you take an antibiotic is a decision you and your doctor need to make together. But it’s always important to talk it over first, especially now that we’ve become even more vulnerable during this pandemic.