INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Can You Separate Fact from Fiction? {Interview}

INFECTIOUS DISEASES:  Can You Separate Fact from Fiction? {Interview}

There’s been a lot of discussion around the mysterious polio-like illness occurring throughout the country, conflicting sentiment around vaccination, and the recent severity of flu epidemics – which killed about 80k people in the US last year alone.

Naturally, it can be confusing to understand which infections are preventable, which diseases are treatable, which you may at risk for contracting, and what to do when symptoms occur. After all, a germ is a germ is a germ, right? Germs are dirty, they make you sick, and that’s the end of that. Well, that’s not true.

While viruses and bacteria can both cause infections or illness, they are quite different. With antibiotic resistance on the rise, it is more important than ever to know the facts.

Join me in a recent interview with Dr. Teena Chopra as she separated fact from fiction when it comes to these common infections, especially pneumonia, which is particularly relevant during flu season.

See the entire interview here:

Here are some important facts and common misconceptions highlighted:

  • Fiction: Infections are caused either by viruses only or bacteria only.
  • Fact: Each year about 36,000 Americans, mostly in high risk groups such as the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, heart disease and diabetes reportedly die from flu complications such as pneumonia. 
  • Fiction: There is no way to tell if it’s a bacterial or viral infection
  • Fact: Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, and do not work against viruses.
  • Fiction: Taking multiple, stronger antibiotics to treat a single infection is better than taking one stronger treatment.  
  • Fact: The FDA recently approved a new and effective treatment for bacterial pneumonia that was designed to overcome antibiotic resistance.

For more information, 


Teena Chopra, MD, MPH

Corporate Medical Director of Infection Prevention, Hospital Epidemiology and Antibiotic Stewardship DMC/Wayne State University 

Dr. Teena Chopra is an infectious disease specialist in Detroit, Michigan and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including DMC Harper University Hospital and Karmanos Cancer Center. She received her medical degree from Dayanand Medical College and has been in practice between 11-20 years. She is one of 18 doctors at DMC Harper University Hospital and one of 10 at Karmanos Cancer Center who specialize in Infectious Disease. 

Interview is courtesy: Paratek Pharmaceuticals

Cynthia Tait

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