he threat of widespread virus disease in the form of Asian influenza makes it highly desirable to clarify thinking on the treatment of virus diseases. The Council on Drugs has prepared a statment, which appears elsewhere in this issue of The Journal, page 58, explaining the limitations of antibiotics in influenza and pointing out that their use in the primary treatment of this disease would be contrary to good medical practice. The principles involved, however, also apply to other virus diseases.
Evidence that thinking on the treatment of virus diseases has been confused can easily be gathered from conversations in public places, where it is not unusual to hear a person say, "I have a virus cold, and my doctor is giving me penicillin." There is also evidence to indicate that the misuse of antibiotics is not limited to the United States. Hennessen in Düsseldorf1 reports that "the use
ANTIBIOTICS IN VIRUS DISEASES. JAMA. 1957;165(1):53–54. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980190055013