We take antibiotics on a whim, even for a throat infection. The consequences can be fatal

Infection season is just beginning and a sore throat can come on suddenly. Still, most of us do not know how to treat it and believe that it is best to reach for antibiotics, treating them as a panacea for everything. These do not work against viruses, which are responsible for 90% of all infections. upper respiratory tract infections. Are we at risk of antibiotic resistance?


About 90 percent upper respiratory tract infections, including those of the throat, are viral. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they will not help in such cases.


People experience an infection accompanied by a sore throat at least once a quarter, and every fifth of us – once a month

As much as 35 percent of people who have ever used an antibiotic to treat an infection accompanied by a sore throat admitted that they did so without a doctor’s recommendation

We expect doctors to prescribe an antibiotic when an infection is accompanied by a fever. It’s a mistake

GPs can use rapid tests to determine if the infection is bacterial and if antibiotics are needed


Unfortunately, it turns out that we treat antibiotics as a cure-all. This is due to the lack of knowledge that these only work on bacteria, not viruses.


Half of us believe that antibiotics work against viruses, and a quarter – that a viral infection should be fought with antibiotics.


It is alarming that as many as 35% of of those surveyed who had ever used an antibiotic to treat an infection associated with a sore throat admitted that they did so without a doctor’s prescription.


Antibiotics are effective, but only against bacteria

Experts grab their heads and warn against the effects of taking antibiotics without control.


About 90 percent of all upper respiratory tract infections are viral, and only 10 percent are viral. are bacterial infections. Therefore, in about 10% of pharyngitis, antibiotics would have their use – explains the microbiologist and virologist Dr. Tomasz DzieciÄ…tkowski from the Medical University of Warsaw.


Unfortunately, too frequent use of antibiotics is, according to experts, the result of insufficient knowledge about the underlying cause of infection and the mechanism of antibiotic action. Patients do not know that a quick test can be performed at the doctor’s office, which will determine the source of infection, so as not to resort to antibiotics unnecessarily.


Using them unnecessarily and incompetently leads to the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance, and this is a real threat to our health and life.