They say the excess antibiotic use not only fails to get rid of any of the children’s viral illnesses, but also supports the dangerous evolution of bacteria toward antibiotic resistance.
A rapid strep test is available to distinguish between bacterial or viral throat infections. But research shows, other than that, physicians have no other clinical tools to tell the cause of most upper respiratory infections.
Researchers hope the study will spur the development of more ways to tell the difference and encourage doctors to think more critically about prescribing antibiotics.
The study was published online Monday in the journal “Pediatrics.”