antibioticsWe are making our way into the season of sickness and with that a trip to the doctor may be necessary for yourself or your child. It can be helpful to know what your options will be for your particular illness, especially when it comes to antibiotics. Not every illness can be given antibiotics, for example antibiotics do not help most respiratory infections. Antibiotics can even be harmful when prescribed when they are not necessary. 

Antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses. They can fight infections caused by bacteria. But most respiratory infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics can’t cure a virus. 

Viruses cause: 

  • All colds and flu 
  • Almost all sinus infections 
  • Most bronchitis (chest colds) 
  • Most sore throats, especially with a cough, runny nose, hoarse voice, or mouth sores 

You may need an antibiotic if you have one of the infections listed below: 

  • A sinus infection that doesn’t get better in 10 days. 
  • You have a fever of 102F or a fever of 100.6F for 3 days or more. 
  • You have bacterial pneumonia 
    • The symptoms can include cough with colored mucus, fever of at least 100.6F, chills, shortness of breath and chest pain when you take a deep breath. 
  • You have whooping cough 
    • Main symptom is fits of severe, rapid coughing. 
  • You have strep throat 
    • Symptoms include sudden throat pain, pain when swallowing, a fever of at least 100.6F and swollen glands. 

If you aren’t sure if your symptoms are for a bacterial infection or a respiratory infection, stop by Hampton Roads Urgent Care.