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Should You Take Antibiotics For the Flu? What Can You Take?

Winter Health Dose: Let's Talk Antibiotics

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Winter Health Dose: Let's Talk Antibiotics
Image Source: Shutterstock

Sore throat and runny nose got you down? Unfortunately it’s that time of year where cold and flu's rear their not-so-pretty heads. In honour of the current sniffle season, we'll be discussing all things Winter health. First up? Antibiotics. Are they the solution? We spoke to emergency physician, Arjun Rao, to get answers.

"Antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections, and the common cold is caused by a viral infection. Most of these cold viruses can cause you to be unwell for a few days [but] antibiotics will not treat a viral infection," says Arjun.

"When too many people take antibiotics unnecessarily to treat viral infections, we see these antibiotics becoming less effective against the serious bacterial infections such as pneumonia, or skin infections that they are designed to treat."

Well there you have it, antibiotics won’t treat the common cold or flu. But, we've got five things that just might!

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