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January 28, 1998

Antibiotic Prescribing and Respiratory Tract Infections—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(4):271-273. doi:10.1001/jama.279.4.271

In Reply.—Dr Dahlberg presents some of the problems that confront the practicing physician in diagnosing and treating patients with upper respiratory tract infections. Costs of diagnostic testing, potential difficulties with follow-up, and concerns about overlooking a bacterial infection are all important issues. However, the crux of his letter seems to be captured in the statement, "If there is any possibility that a primary or secondary bacterial condition exists, . . . the risks of untreated disease outweigh the individual risk of developing resistant bacteria." Should this concept serve as the basis for practice?