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Antibiotics

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Jon Tilli took antibiotics for five years to treat his chronic sinus problems. Doctors gave him a new prescription every 3 to 4 months.

"They said that one wasn't strong enough so they gave me this one and that still didn't work."

Health officials say antibiotic overuse is a public health threat in the U.S. Now the Centers for Disease Control and more than two dozen other health organizations are issuing new policies to fight antibiotic resistance.

"We are seeing an increase in resistance among common infections so we're seeing an increase in hospitalizations that are due to antibiotic resistant infections," says Lauri Hicks.

Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, but a new poll shows more than a third of Americans mistakenly think antibiotics also help fight viruses.

Health groups also want to limit antibiotics in meat and poultry and use them only when necessary for the animal's health.

Patients need to do their part too. If you're prescribed an antibiotic, take the right dose, complete the course and do not save leftovers for later.

And ask your doctor if you really need one.

"Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you wait a day or two to see if you're going to get better," says Dr. Lisa Liberatore of Lenox Hill Hospital.

It turns out Jon needed surgery to correct his sinus problems.

"It was pretty much reconstructing my left sinuses."

He's hoping he won't have to rely on antibiotics as much.

Children have the highest rates of antibiotic use so resistance in children is a big concern.

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