Infections may be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungus or parasites.
Most sore throats, coughs, colds and gastroenteritis are due to viruses.
Bacterial infections in childhood may include pneumonia, otitis media (middle ear infections), meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain) and urinary tract infection. Some of these may be potentially serious and patients may require hospitalisation.
Antibiotics are drugs prescribed by doctors to fight disease-causing bacteria. When used properly, they can save lives. However, improper use of antibiotics can be harmful to your child.
Antibiotics do not work on viruses. Children usually recover from common viral infections spontaneously after several days.
Antibiotics are only useful for bacterial infections.
Some bacteria are smart, they can develop a resistance to antibiotics.
Repeated and improper use of antibiotics can cause an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
When this happens, your child's infection remains uncontrolled or may even get worse.
Progressively stronger and more expensive antibiotics will have to be used.
Some bacteria can even be resistant to all the potent antibiotics that have ever been invented. As a result, doctors may have no more weapons left to fight the infection.
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