No, You Shouldn’t Be Taking Antibiotics For Covid

Covid patients shouldn’t be given antibiotics, scientists have warned, except in rare circumstances where a secondary bacterial infection is present.

The warning comes after a study led by the University of Glasgow found that antibiotic use was very high in hospitalised Covid-19 patients in the UK during the first wave, despite there rarely being a confirmed bacterial infection.

“Covid-19 is a viral infection. Antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections, unless a bacterial co-infection is present,” lead author Dr Antonia Ho, from the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, tells HuffPost UK.

Not only do antibiotics not work for treating a virus like Covid, but using them unnecessarily can predispose patients to side effects in the future and, perhaps more worryingly, can drive antibiotic resistance.

It’s estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections – and this figure is set to rise.

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