Antibiotics aren’t the answer for everything

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HAVING green phlegm or snot is not always a sign you need antibiotics to get better.

That’s the message to people in Hampshire, from Public Health England and the Royal College of General Practitioners, on European Antibiotics Awareness Day.

Phlegm comes in a range of colours, and does not always mean you need antibiotics.

Research by PHE found 40 per cent of the general public believed antibiotics would help a cough with green phlegm get better more quickly rather than clear phlegm.

Dr Cliodna McNulty, head of PHE’s primary care unit said: ‘It’s a prevailing myth that anyone with green phlegm or snot needs a course of antibiotics to get better.

‘Most of the infections that generate lots of phlegm and snot are viral illnesses and will get better on their own, although you can expect to feel pretty poorly for a few weeks.

‘There are plenty of over-the-counter medicines which are very effective in managing the symptoms of these illnesses and can reduce headache, muscle soreness, fever and sore throats.

‘The problems of antibiotic resistance are growing; people can help by not using them for uncomplicated infections.’