"Taking prescription medications of any kind, but especially antibiotics, without a specific diagnosis is an extremely bad idea," said Dale Carroll, MD, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs and Performance Improvement, at RMH.
"While fears about anthrax and other diseases are understandable, the average American still has a greater chance of being killed in a car accident or hit by lightning, than dying from anthrax, based on the exposure methods we're seeing in the news."Dr. Carroll
suggests the following: · Talk to your physician any time you feel sick.The flu and pneumonia are more dangerous than anthrax this time of year, especially for older adults. · Get a flu vaccine and ask your physician if you are a candidate for the pneumonia vaccine."By taking antibiotics as a preventive measure, people run the risk of limiting the effectiveness of those drugs later on if they need to be treated for a real illness.Secondarily, if consumers are buying drugs online or crossing the borders to buy cheaper drugs, there is some risk with regard to quality control issues for the medications," said Dr. Carroll
also suggests that people follow the precautions the United States Postal Service
has outlined with regard to opening strange packages and try to avoid jumping to conclusions about people and events they encounter.Nevertheless, he
recommends that people find out as much as they can about chemical and biological agents that could be introduced into the general population."As people explore this issue, I think they will see the threats, while real, can be limited as the government and other agencies increase their vigilance," said Dr. Carroll