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Infectious Disease Case Study

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, Deanne B. Erdmann, MS, Sonia Rahmati Clayton, PhD, and James P. Denk, MA

Let’s Talk About It

Be sure the class understands why it was important to know if Allison had taken any medications. (The use of medications before an examination could mask symptoms and interfere with the correct diagnosis.) 

The common cold is caused by a virus. Since antibiotics do not kill viruses, they would not cure Allison’s cold. However, viral infections may increase an individual’s susceptibility to secondary bacterial infections by compromising the immune system. 

Knowing that microbes are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics, should a patient with a viral infection receive antibiotics as part of his/her treatment? As a class, discuss this controversy.

Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Grant Number: 5R25RR018605