Seasonal flu: Fever cases rise; doctors flag excessive use of antibiotics

As fever cases rise, IMA advised to avoid excessive antibiotics usage.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  4 March 2023 6:43 AM GMT
Seasonal flu: Fever cases rise; doctors flag excessive use of antibiotics

Hyderabad: A sudden increase in fever cases especially from October to February due to seasonal changes has increased the usage of Azithromycin and Ivermectin once again. It is common to have a seasonal cold or cough during these months because of influenza or other viruses but such cases should be treated symptomatically and not with antibiotics. Azithromycin and Ivermectin were widely used during Covid which led to resistance to these medicines.

According to the Indian Medical Association, there has been a rapid increase in the number of patients experiencing symptoms such as cough, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, fever, body soreness, and diarrhea in certain cases. This mostly occurs in people above the age of 50 and below the age of 15. People develop upper respiratory infections along with fever and air pollution is one of the participating factors. The infection typically lasts five to seven days. The fever goes away after three days, but the cough might last up to three weeks. According to the NCDC, the majority of these cases are caused by the H3N2 influenza virus. However, the IMA encouraged doctors to avoid using antibiotics and instead treat patients symptomatically.

“People are already beginning to take antibiotics such as Azithromycin and Amoxiclav without regard for dose or frequency, and then discontinuing them once they begin to feel better. This must be prevented since it contributes to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics will not function because of resistance once they are used and because of such overuse, there will come a day when none of the Antibiotics work on people's immune systems. There should be a policy in our state to start selling over-the-counter antibiotics as prescription medication only ” said Dr. Rahul Agarwal, Head of the Department, Senior Consultant Physician of Care Hospitals, Hitec-City.

“Numerous other antibiotics are being used for specific illnesses leading to patient resistance. For example, 70% of diarrhea cases are viral, for which medicines are not required yet and are prescribed by doctors. The most commonly overused antibiotics are amoxicillin, norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, and levofloxacin. This is leading to resistance in such a way that when there is a real use of antibiotics, they will not work on the body," according to the medical association. Before prescribing or taking antibiotics, it is vital to determine if the infection is bacterial or not. Stakeholders must practice self-control and regulation. To prevent infection, avoid congested areas, and practice proper hand and respiratory hygiene.

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