Omaha Public Radio News
2:14 pm
Mon October 12, 2009

Health officials: antibiotics won't work on the flu

Omaha, NE – The Douglas County Health Department says you shouldn't ask for antibiotics if you suspect you have the flu.

Concerns over swine flu have area hospitals seeing more patients than usual. Douglas County Health Department Resource Specialist Phil Rooney says if you do need medical treatment for the flu, antibiotics won't do any good. Those medications are designed to treat bacterial infections and not viral ones such as the flu. Rooney says you can become resistant to certain antibiotics with overuse.

Rooney says the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get a flu shot. Washing your hands, covering your cough and avoiding exposure to people who are ill will also help prevent you from catching the flu.

The Visiting Nurses Association is offering flu shot clinics for the seasonal vaccine. The nasal spray form of the swine flu vaccine arrived in Omaha last week.