The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The Emerging Threat of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Southern Africa: Global and Local Challenges and Solutions—Workshop Summary (2011)

Tuberculosis (TB) kills approximately 4,500 people worldwide every day. While most cases of TB can be treated with antibiotics, some strains have developed drug resistance that makes their treatment more expensive, more toxic, and less effective for the patient. The IOM Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation and the Academy of Science of South Africa held a workshop to discuss ways to fight the growing threat of drug-resistant TB. This report summarizes the discussion at that workshop.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: If you have a cold or the flu, taking antibiotics will help treat the infection.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, not viral infections such as influenza and the common cold. In fact, inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics contributes to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria. 

  • Correct!

    Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, not viral infections such as influenza and the common cold. In fact, inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics contributes to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria.