Can Antibiotics Treat Coronavirus?

  18 April 2020

It happens every cold and flu season: People call their doctors asking for an antibiotic to knock out the infection. But most colds, flus and other upper respiratory infections are caused by a virus. Antibiotics only kill bacteria; they do nothing for those with a viral infection. The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that is behind the COVID-19 pandemic, is a virus, and antibiotics are useless against it. Yet, many patients still think they should be prescribed one.

Dr. Gary LeRoy, a family physician from Dayton, Ohio, and the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, had such a patient recently. She had visited a relative in the hospital, then developed a fever and cough. LeRoy told her she needed to be tested for the coronavirus. “She said, ‘Can’t you just call me in some antibiotics?’” he says.

Further reading: US News
Author(s): David Levine
Effective Surveillance   Healthy Patients  
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