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?
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