You cannot treat colds, flu and COVID-19 with antibiotics
Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Colds, COVID-19 and the flu are viral infections, so antibiotics won’t help. Using antibiotics when you do have these illnesses can make you resistant to them when you do need them.
There are a few ways to help prevent colds, flu and COVID-19
- Wash your hands with plain soap for two minutes
- Get your flu shot
- For COVID-19: keep your social distance 6ft
- For COVID-19: wear a mask
- For COVID-19: limit social gatherings to six people
How can I treat colds and the flu?
Colds and flu mend when you drink plenty of fluids, get rest, and give your body time to do its job.
Do I have COVID-19?
If you experience any of these symptoms, stay home and contact your healthcare provider. You may just have a cold or the flu but stay home to keep others safe. Here is a link to the BC COVID-19 Self-assessment Tool.
- dry cough
Less common symptoms:
- aches and pains
- sore throat
- loss of taste or smell
- a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- chest pain or pressure
- loss of speech or movement
Antibiotics treat bacterial infections and can be life-saving. But, antibiotics won't kill viruses like cold and flu.
A poster suitable for doctor's offices, community centres and other public locations. Open up and think twice about antibiotics.
Locate a flu clinic near you anywhere in BC with this interactive map.
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.
Information on hand hygiene and treating the various symptoms of viral infections.
6 steps for properly washing your hands and preventing the spread of infection.