Amid rising fever cases, IMA advises to avoid antibiotics. Here's why

Most of the fever cases are due to H3N2 Influenza virus

Antibiotics resistance Representative Image

With the fever cases on the rise, Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Friday advised doctors and medical practitioners across the country to avoid prescribing antibiotics for seasonal fever, cold and cough.

There is a sudden rise in the number of patients with symptoms including cough, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, fever, body ache and diarrhoea in some cases, said the medical body in an advisory.

"The infection usually lasts for about five to seven days. The fever goes away at the end of three days, but the cough can persist for up to three weeks. As per information from NCDC, most of these cases are H3N2 Influenza virus," said IMA.

The IMA advised doctors to provide only symptomatic treatment to such cases and refrain from giving antibiotics as its leads to antibiotics resistance.

"Give only symptomatic treatment, no need to give antibiotics. But right now, people start taking antibiotics like Azithromycin and Amoxiclav etc, that too without caring for dose and frequency and stop it once start feeling better. This need to be stopped as it leads to antibiotics resistance. Whenever there will a real use of antibiotics, they will not work due to the resistance," said IMA.

"It is common to have seasonal cold or cough during October to February period, because of influenza and other viruses. Mostly it occurs in people below the age of 50 and below 15 years. People develop upper respiratory infections along with fever. Air pollution is one of the precipitating factors,” the advisory stated.

"Several another antibiotics are being misused for certain conditions and are developing resistance among patients. For instance, 70 percent of diarrhoea cases are viral diarrhoea, for which antibiotics are not needed but are being prescribed bydoctors," it said.

"The most misused antibiotics are amoxicillin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin. These are being used for diarrhoea and for UTI,” said IMA.

“We have already seen widespread use of azithromycin and ivermectin during Covid and this too has led to resistance. It is necessary to diagnose whether the infection is bacterial or not before prescribing antibiotics. Self-control and regulation need to be practised by all stakeholders. For prevention of infection avoid crowded places, practice good hand and respiratory hygiene and take vaccination," it added.