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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

In a first in the country, the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) in Bhubaneswar has found in its new study that the medicines used for treating COVID-19 patients are causing side effects for which no one should take any antibiotics without a doctor's prescription.

As per the study reports, the antibiotics used for treating Covid are probably destroying 'good' bacteria present in the body. As a result, 'bad' bacteria present in the throat are directly entering the lungs which may cause lung-related diseases. 

The RMRC study report was published by the leading health magazine 'Nature'.

The research centre conducted a study including several Covid patients who were in home isolation and were treated with antibiotic medicines. Though the patients recovered from Corona, the antibiotics used for treating Covid damaged 'good' bacteria present in the throat and the count of 'bad' bacteria increased. 

Swab samples of the patients taking antibiotics for Covid were tested by the researchers at intervals of 15 days for one month. However, it was found that new 'healthy' bacteria were not generated for one month. Moreover, the generation of 'unhealthy' bacteria multiplied over the duration, the research report stated.

Though the patients recovered from Covid, the 'bad' bacteria that entered to lungs through the throat caused side effects. 

However, the Director of Public Health said the use of antibiotics spiked as Covid came as a new threat but the side effects, as per the RMRC report, will not last long. 

"Covid was completely a new threat for all of us. We didn't have sufficient data. Usually, there is no role of antibiotics for viral diseases. Recovery of the patients through medication took some time, but the use of antibiotics scaled up. However, the reports of side effects after use of antibiotics won't be long-lasting," said, Dr Niranjan Mishra, Director of Public Health.

On the other hand, health experts suggest that no one should take antibiotics without consultation and a prescription from the doctor. Especially, the use of antibiotics should be shunned for a common cold. 

"Unnecessary antibiotic usage should be avoided. Not only healthy bacteria present in the throat but also in the intestine will get damaged after the usage of antibiotics. As a result, the number of pathogenic bacteria will also increase," said Dr Niraj Mishra, health expert.

The availability of antibiotics in the open market has raised such issues of using those without the consultation of doctors. Health experts opine that restrictions should be implemented on such open availability of antibiotics.

Reported by Jagdish Das

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