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Most Still Get Antibiotics for Bronchitis

Antibiotics don't help infections, such as bronchitis, that are caused by viruses. But new research suggests that the public and doctors still have not embraced that message. In the study, 71% of patient visits for acute bronchitis led to an antibiotic prescription. The study covered the years 1996 through 2010. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. It is almost always caused by a virus. The main symptom is coughing. "Acute" bronchitis means that symptoms have lasted less than 3 weeks. The study was published as a research letter in the journal JAMA. It was based on a national survey of doctors' offices and hospital emergency rooms. The sampling was selected to represent the United States as a whole. During the 15 years covered, these facilities reported 3,153 visits for acute bronchitis.

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