A close acquaintance that went to a Doc with clear symptoms of a common cold got treated with antibiotics recently which prompted this missive. They had taken the antibiotics for four days without any relief. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! In one huge recent study, of almost 200,000 patients with colds, about half were given unnecessary antibiotics.
The cost of the appointment and antibiotics were certainly a waste! Antibiotics can control bacteria and yeasts, not viruses. The reasons for not prescribing are much more important than money. The dreaded bacterial resistance to antibiotics results from overprescribing because bacteria in our bodies adapt by becoming resistant and when these outlaw bugs do cause infections they do not respond to the normal medicines. This can allow people with resistant strains to infect others in hospitals and even doctor’s offices with potentially fatal bugs.
Although, both colds and strep throats start with a sore throat the symptoms are different. Strep throats become very sore rapidly, whereas sore throats from colds are usually mild and begin to fade after about a day. Strep throats develop high fevers. Colds, with the exception of Flu bugs, have a low-grade fever. This is because strep throats are local infections, staying in the throat, and viruses are systemic infections with generalized effects on the body. Because of the total body infections people with colds ache all over and have headaches. The viruses are all over the body but primarily reside and cause symptoms in the throat, nose, and large airways in the throat and chest.
There are many more colds because of the infectious nature from coughing and sneezing. Streptococci, the bad boys, primarily spread from contamination by going to the mouth from contaminated food, drinks, doorknobs, or touching a contaminated person. This is because luck of caution of others , especially touching or sharing eatables is common in young.
The treatments of the two vary tremendously; antibiotics effectively kill bacteria if the bacteria are susceptible but do nada toward viruses. Medicines to treat viruses keep the little buggers from multiplying. Viruses are natures trick on the rest of us. They are living creatures but should not be. They cannot reproduce as they have no DNA! Cold viruses commandeer and infect cells using their DNA and releasing thousands as the cell dies. They infect cells in respiratory systems (i.e. throat, nose, sinuses, trachea, and lungs). So one gets a sore throat, runny nose, cough with sputum, and feels bad all over.