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Old 03-23-2020, 07:50 PM
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BigT is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 37,483
Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
Many have stated that the antibiotic may be helpful in fighting off secondary infections. But that could be helpful in other virus infections as well.
Possibly, but not usually. Most viruses don't compromise the immune system so much as to allow for opportunistic infections from bacteria. It is only the worst cases where an antibiotic might be useful--we're talking people in the hospital or certain viruses (like HIV).

If the viral infection will resolve on its own with no lasting damage (i.e. most viruses we acquire), then the antibiotic is wasted, even if it could technically help. And we can't waste antibiotics.

Every time we use an antibiotic, we are increasing the chances that a resistant bacteria will evolve. That is why we are so much more stingy with antibiotics now. We do not use them unless we must, where the risk is less than the reward.

With people who are dying, why not try something that may work? You're already keeping them quarantined, so any resistant infection won't get out. So the risk there is minor.

The statement "an antibiotic is useless for viral infections" is about the types of viral infections you go to your out-patient doctor for. It's about explaining why your doctor won't give you an antibiotic to take home if you have a viral infection.

Last edited by BigT; 03-23-2020 at 07:51 PM.