The case was quite straightforward. A middle-aged woman presented with a sore throat and cough with no fever that had lasted a couple of days. Her husband and son had had similar symptoms. Screening test results for streptococcus were negative. The findings of physical examination were unremarkable except for mild redness of her throat.
I began to explain to her that she had a viral upper respiratory tract infection and that we would treat her symptoms. “Does that mean you're not going to give me antibiotics?” she interjected. “My husband and son had the same symptoms, and their doctor gave them antibiotics.”