West Virginia Struggling with Antibiotic Overuse - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

West Virginia Struggling with Antibiotic Overuse

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Antibiotic overuse is a trend all across America and it's even more of a problem here at home in West Virginia.

According to the Center for Disease Control, since 1999 the country's antibiotic use has dropped 17 percent, but some areas have made little progress.

West Virginia ranks among the leaders in antibiotic prescriptions. A West Virginia University professor in clinical pharmacy, Dr. Charles Ponte said the state averages about 1.2 antibiotic prescriptions written per-person, the national average he said is 0.8.

The CDC warns that overuse can lead to super bugs that become antibiotic resistant.

Dr. Ponte said antibiotics are not ‘cure-alls.'

"Many infections one has, especially this time of year, the common cold, obviously the flu, obviously a lot of sinus infections or upper respiratory tract infections are really viruses and really don't have a place and help that type of infection," said Dr. Charles Ponte.

Financial impacts like costs of medications and further appointments to manage side effects can be costly to a patient or insurance company.

If you aren't sure whether or not you should be taking an antibiotic, Dr. Ponte suggest asking your doctor if there all alternative means.

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