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Antibiotics: Not Always the Answer

In: Other Topics

Submitted By nburmhi
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Antibiotics: Not Always the Answer It was flu season. Almost everyone was getting sick. For a few days, my throat felt constricted, making it hard for me to swallow down food. Thinking that it was a cold, I ignored it and went on with my daily schedule. Two weeks passed, there was no change. I never really thought about looking at my throat to see what was going on, but once I looked, my tonsils were the size of golf balls. I went straight to my doctor, hoping it wasn't tonsillitis. The first thing we had to figure out was to see if this was a bacterial or viral infection. My tests results for strep throat, mononucleosis, tonsillitis, and blood samples to test for bacterial infection were all negative. My doctor reported that my results indicated that I had some sort of virus, and did not prescribe me antibiotics, raising questions for why I shouldn't be taking antibiotics for my infection. Since Alexander Fleming's discovery of them in 1927, antibiotics have played a profound role in ridding the population of bacterial infections. Antibiotics are chemicals that work to kill disease-causing, single-cell living organisms called bacteria ("The Danger of Antibiotic Overuse"). Bacteria can surpass our immune system, reproduce, and cause diseases or infection by producing chemicals that damage our bodies ("What Are Antibiotics? How Do Antibiotics Work?"). For instance, bacteria can invade our inner ear and cause a bacterial ear infection. Our immune system works to fight the bacteria, resulting in inflammation. However, the immune system sometimes is not able to activate itself quickly enough to outpace the reproductive rate of a certain bacterium. Antibiotics are used as an alternative and helpful method to help our immune system kill the bacteria and reduce inflammation. Many antibiotics interrupt the machinery inside bacterial cells that build the bacterial cell...

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