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Are antibiotics effective in treating coronavirus? RSS

No, according to WHO: antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.

The SARS-CoV-2 is a virus so antibiotics should not be used as a mechanism of prevention or treatment. Currently, there is no specific treatment for coronavirus besides health care supporting. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.


Why don’t antibiotics kill viral infections, and how can overuse of an antibiotic lead to “antibiotic resistance”?

+ Antibiotics cannot kill viruses because viruses have different structures and replicate in a different way than bacteria.

+ Antibiotics work by targeting the growth machinery in bacteria (not viruses) to kill or inhibit those particular bacteria.

+ When you think about it structurally, it makes sense that an antibiotic could not work to kill a virus with a completely different set of replicating “machinery”.

However, if you are hospitalized for the covid-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is also possible. Some patients may have antibiotics administered to them in the hospital because bacterial co-infections are possible in some circumstances.

For the moment at least, viral pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics and there are no antivirals specific to this particular virus.

Instead, doctors focus on supporting patients' lung function as best they can. They may be given oxygen or placed on a breathing machine (ventilator) in the most critical cases.


Other symptoms such as fever and discomfort will be treated using medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Secondary infections may be treated with antibiotics.

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