The best way to avoid antibiotics is to sidestep infections in the first place.

One key step: washing your hands often, which not only can protect you from infections but also can keep you from spreading germs to others. That’s especially important before preparing or eating food, before and after treating a cut or wound, and after using the bathroom, sneezing, coughing, or handling garbage. Use plain soap and water and wash for at least 20 seconds. But skip antibacterial hand soaps and cleaners. There’s no evidence that they work any better than regular soap, and they may promote antibiotic resistance. Also, get recommended vaccines such as those that protect against the flu and pneumonia.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health December 2015

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