Antibiotics, Cold and Flu

Antibiotics are extremely useful medications for treating bacterial infections, but they do not work against viral infections such as the cold or flu.

Our own immune systems are the best treatment for a viral infection. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and give your immune system time to do its job. 

To help prevent colds, flu and other viral infections, there are important and easy steps you can take. The first is to regularly wash your hands with plain soap to prevent the spread of germs. More than 80% of common infections are spread via the hands. It’s also not too late to get your flu shot, the best way to protect yourself and loved ones from the flu. You can find a flu clinic in B.C. by visiting Immunize BC.

Using antibiotics unnecessarily, such as to treat a viral infection, can contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance and make antibiotics less effective. So if you have a cold or flu this season, open up and think twice about antibiotics. Access further resources for preventing and treating viral infections below.

Resources

Antibiotics, Cold and Flu Video

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections and can be life-saving. But, antibiotics won't kill viruses like cold and flu.

Say Naaah Poster

A poster suitable for doctor's offices, community centres and other public locations. Open up and think twice about antibiotics.

Flu Clinic Finder

Locate a flu clinic near you anywhere in BC with this interactive map.

Choosing Wisely – Cold and Flu

Antibiotics don’t help most respiratory infections, and they can even be harmful. See ways you can help treat symptoms from colds and flu without unnecessary antibiotics.

Guide to the Wise Use of Antibiotics

Information on hand hygiene and treating the various symptoms of viral infections.

How to Wash Your Hands Poster

6 steps for properly washing your hands and preventing the spread of infection.

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