Most sinus infections are caused by viruses rather than bacteria and shouldn’t be treated with antibiotics — a common practice that contributes to the development of drug-resistant “superbugs,” according to new guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
The guidelines, which also include new recommendations for treating bacterial infections, are the first issued by the society, which represents specialists in infectious disease. A panel that developed them included experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Physicians.
Nearly one in seven people are diagnosed with a sinus infection each year. These cases are the fifth most common reason doctors prescribe antibiotics. But as many as 98% of cases are caused by viruses, which aren’t affected by these drugs.