Friday, March 8, 2013

Is a bacterial sore throat an Indian thing?

I posted a couple of days back about whether to take antibiotics or not when I get a cough. Someone, presumably a doctor, commented, "Most Upper Respiratory tract Infections are viral in nature and they usually run a self limited course and there is no role of antibiotics." I had heard that in the past and when I saw this comment, decided to dig deeper.

I found reputed websites support this claim. In fact, millions of dollars worth antibiotics are prescribed in the US every year to treat these infections where they do not have any role in their treatment in reality.

When I look back at the episodes of cough that I have had in the past, I distinctly remember that I would get the cough and no matter what I did, the symptoms would abate only when I started antibiotics. Why was that the case?

I checked with a few friends about this. They seemed to concur. "My cough starts getting better only when I take antibiotics!"

Surely, so many people could not be wrong!

Could it be then that there is an Indian context to bacterial coughs? That Indians are more predisposed to getting coughs that can be successfully treated with antibiotics than people from the US, for example?

A lot of information on medical websites and medical information on Wikipedia is authored by people from the US. Could it be possible that this information is keeping that gene pool in mind?

I don't know, I'm asking.


Avinash Ghimire said...

any infection has to be seen in the context of the person.people with ESRD have a lowered imunity-it's a fact.So, I have a lower threshold to use antibiotics in ESRD population.Hope that helps Kamal.

Kamal D Shah said...

Thanks Dr. Ghimire, that helped!