News Headlines Article

On an Antibiotic? You May Be Getting Only a False Sense of Security
The New York Times

The best way to prevent transmission of Ebola in the United States is to identify and quarantine those with the disease as soon as possible. However, the first Ebola patient in this country was, unfortunately, released after going to an emergency room, even though he had symptoms indicative of the disease. He was sent home on antibiotics.

The antibiotics were, of course, of no use in treating Ebola. They’d be of no use for any viral infection, for that matter. Even if the patient had actually had a sinus infection, as his doctors initially believed, antibiotics probably wouldn’t have done much for that either.

Yet antibiotics are regularly prescribed in this manner. Cases like this highlight a real, but often ignored, danger from their overuse: a false sense of security.