Understanding Antibiotic Misuse in Treating Colds and Flu

Jan 1, 2024 | 0 comments

Does Your Treatment Plan Need Antibiotics?

The common cold and flu are viral infections, yet there’s a prevalent trend of prescribing antibiotics. Antibiotics, however, are ineffective against viruses. This misuse contributes to a global health crisis: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

The Scale of the AMR Crisis

A Growing Global Health Threat

AMR has been a pressing health concern for decades, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring it one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. In 2019, AMR was responsible for nearly 1.3 million direct deaths worldwide and associated with almost 5 million more. In the United States, over 35,000 deaths annually are attributed to AMR. This number saw a sharp 15% increase between 2019 and 2020, partly due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Further Reading: Explore the WHO’s comprehensive report on AMR here.

How AMR Affects You and Your Community

The Impact of Misusing Antibiotics

When antibiotics are overused or misused, bacteria evolve to resist them, rendering these life-saving drugs ineffective. This resistance leads to more extended hospital stays, higher medical costs, and increased mortality.

Your Role in Combating AMR

Practical Strategies to Reduce AMR

  1. Understanding When Antibiotics Are Necessary: Antibiotics should only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics should be used to treat viral infections like colds and flu.
  2. Seeking Professional Advice: Always consult healthcare providers for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
  3. Awareness of Alternative Treatments: For viral infections, other treatments like antivirals, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and symptom relievers are more suitable.
  4. Promoting Education: Spreading awareness about the proper use of antibiotics is crucial.
  • Learn More: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers extensive resources on antibiotic use and AMR here.

Ensuring a Future with Effective Antibiotics

A Call to Action for Everyone

The battle against AMR requires collective action. By being informed and responsible in our use of antibiotics, we can all contribute to preserving their efficacy for future generations.

For Personalized Guidance

Antibiotics are an excellent topic of discussion for you and your primary care physician or healthcare provider for advice tailored to your health needs. Remember, each step towards responsible antibiotic use promotes a healthier future.

Additional Resources

  1. CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report: Provides detailed insights into the current state of AMR in the U.S. CDC Report Link.
  2. Mayo Clinic’s Guide on Antibiotics: Offers a layperson-friendly understanding of when and how antibiotics should be used Mayo Clinic Guide.
  3. World Antibiotic Awareness Week: An initiative by WHO to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance WHO Initiative.

Contact Us Today

    Shamekia Wray

    Front Desk

    Shamekia Wray was a native of Atlanta, Monroe, Watkinsville and now settled in Athens. Graduated from Oconee County High school in the year 2011. Started working at a nursery caregiver for 7 years and assistant preschool teacher for 6, went to Colorado Technical University 2015 to major Science and Criminal Justice. Worked in the hospitality industry for 4 years and now is happy to work at Urgent Care of Oconee where she can continue to help patients the best way she can. .

    Haleigh Johnson

    PA-C

    Haleigh Johnson is from Athens, GA and earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Georgia. She attended Physical Assistant School at South College in Nashville. Haleigh worked in women’s health prior to attending PA School. She likes watching “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” working out and hanging out with her husband and fur-baby. .

    Jami Dillard

    PA-C

    Jami Dillard attended Mercer University, graduating with honors in May of this year, earning a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies. She rotated with Urgent Care of Oconee during her PA program and couldn’t wait to return! Jami is a native of Oconee County and a graduate of Westminster Christian Academy. She traveled a few miles down the road and graduated from UGA in 2019 with a degree in Nutritional Sciences. Before starting PA school, she gained patient care experience by working as a Medical Assistant in Watkinsville. She loves spending time with her family and being Aunt Jami to her 5 nieces and nephews, who keep her on her toes. Jami also enjoys downtime with her boyfriend, David, and cat Darla. She is passionate about serving the Deaf community through sign language and has a heart for international missions, especially in Jamaica. .

    Summer Stephenson

    PA-C

    Summer Stephenson is from Tifton, GA. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of Georgia and her Masters of Medical Science Degree from Lincoln Memorial University. Summer enjoys watching the Dawgs play, playing pickleball and spending time with her dog, Murphy.

    Tammy Meier

    Radiology

    Tammy Meier is from Lake Charles, LA. She lived most of her life there before moving to Rutledge, GA in 2022. Tammy graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Radiology in 2005. She has been a Radiologic Technologist for 18 years. She been married for 24 years and has 10-year-old twin boys. Tammy and her family love to hike or ride bikes when they aren’t on the ball or soccer fields.

    Phyllis Vickers

    Medical Assistant

    Phyllis Vickers is originally from Upstate, NY. She has enjoyed working in the medical field as a Registrar and Financial Counselor for over 20 year. Phyllis spent many years in the Piedmont ER. That experience led her to the Urgent Care of Oconee. She loves Interior Decorating. Phyllis’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family, especially her Grandbabies.

    Linzi Smith

    Medical Assistant

    Linzi Smith is from Brunswick, Georgia. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Georgia. Linzi is certified in Phycological First Aid and as a phlebotomist. She liked UGA Football, reading and crocheting. Linzi spends her free time volunteering as a crisis councilor.

    Jennifer Jones

    Front Desk

    Jennifer Jones is originally from New York, but grew up in Monroe, Georgia. She is currently attending Athens Tech for Radiologic Technology. Previously, Jennifer worked the front desk the Piedmont Athens ER and other medical clinics. She likes football and trying new restaurants. Jennifer loves to cook and anything outdoors. In her free time, she says she “stays busy keeping my 3 kids entertained with new adventures. We love finding new trials to walk, cooking new recipes and anything that keeps us outdoors.”

    Halima Mendoza

    Medical Assistant

    Halima Mendoza is originally from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, but has been in Athens most of her life. She holds a two Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Georgia; one in Neuroscience Concentration and on the Psychology. Halima is a certified Medical Assistant and is certified in Basic Life Support. Previously, she worked as a scribe in Piedmont’s Emergency room. Halima is a member of the Georgia State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC) for Early Intervention Programs. She likes listening to Podcasts that center around dark history and murder mysteries. Halima loves to garden and “wrangle her two lovely children and husband.” She also enjoys studying various cultures and languages.

    Harry Wingate IV

    Radiology

    Harry Wingate IV is a Georgia native, graduating from North Oconee High School in 2007. He served in the Army National Guard for six years and graduated in 2015 from the Athens Technical College Radiography program. Harry loves watching the Georgia Bulldogs with family and friends.

    Caroline Crowe

    Medical Assistant

    Caroline is from Buford, GA. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia. In her free time, Caroline likes to play tennis and travel.

    Tonya Milligan

    Athens Office Manager

    Tonya grew up in Good Hope, Madison and Loganville, GA and currently lives in Stephens, GA. She is a graduate of the Monroe Area High School. Tonya has an expansive background in the medical field. She has worked front desk in Primary Care, a Cancer Center, and Audiology. Tonya has also worked in medical records and as a transcriptionist. She is currently the Office Manager in the Urgent Care of Oconee Athens office. Tonya likes to read, work in the yard and watch her grandkids play baseball. Her husband is a bi-Vocational Pastor and retired from USPS. They have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. ”

    Aimee Felton

    Employee Account Manager

    Aimee is a local native from Athens, GA. She has worked in the medical field for 15 years. Aimee has worked for the Urgent Care of Oconee since 2016. Making memories with her husband and three boys is Aimee’s favorite pastime. The family enjoys thrifting, camping, kayaking, hunting & fishing, and watching baseball. Aimee says she has “a passion for helping others and loves working for a clinic that puts patient care at the head of its mission.”

    Daniel Gallo

    PA-C

    Daniel is from Atlanta, Georgia. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in biology from Berry College and a Master’s Degree in Health Science from Lincoln Memorial University. Previously, Daniel worked as a Student Athletic Trainer for the Berry College of Sports Medicine Department. Daniel previously worked at the Urgent Care of Oconee as a Medial Assistant. Daniel enjoys rowing, rugby, hiking and camping.

    Vanessa Cartwright

    Front Desk

    Vanessa is from Canton, Georgia. While obtaining her degree at the University of Georgia, she met her now fiancé. After graduation, they decided to settle down in Athens. She has several years of experience in customer service. Vanessa enjoys video games, reading, and spending time outdoors with her two dogs.

    Tammy Heil

    Watkinsville Office Manager

    Tammy is originally from Oklahoma. She has lived in Georgia most of her life. Tammy previously worked for Northside Hospital for 13 years. She was the front office Team Lead and has experience in billing, insurance, and accounts receivable. She enjoys engaging with patients and feeling like she is part of the success of a practice. Tammy has many interests including reading, going to movies, traveling, watching GA Bulldogs football games and watching my grandchildren play sports. She lives in Loganville, GA with her husband, two children and two grandchildren. Tammy says she “feels very blessed to now be a part of Urgent Care of Oconee and hopes to make a positive impact on the staff and community we serve.”

    Samantha Ashmead

    PA-C

    Samantha is originally from the North Florida area. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas and her Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from South College in Knoxville, Tennessee. Samantha joined Urgent Care of Oconee in April 2022. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, carpentry, and spending quality time with her dogs and partner.

    Natalie Moseley

    PA-C

    Natalie is from Springfield, MO, however, she has lived all over the world, including Africa. Natalie made Georgia her home 20 years ago. She earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia College and State University and her Physician Assistant Master’s Degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Natalie previously worked in Orthopedic Surgery Primary Care and Emergency Medicine. Her interests include music, reading, hiking, camping and traveling. Natalie is an avid gardener. She volunteers her time with ACC-SANE, which is an organization that specializes in helping victims of sexual assault.

    Michelle Fletcher

    Front Desk

    Michelle is a Georgia native from McDonough. Michelle began her career as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines before working part time and raising her children. She has served our community through teaching at First Presbyterian Preschool and volunteering at her church and in her children's school.

    Kara Whyte

    PA-C

    Kara Whyte is a Physician Assistant certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) since 1994. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wagner College, while concurrently earning her certificate of completion from Bayley Seton Hospital PA program in Staten Island, New York. For nearly 30 years, Kara has worked as a PA in Family Practice, College Health, Interventional Radiology and Neurosurgery prior to joining Urgent Care of Oconee. Kara and her husband Brad are blessed to enjoy Lake Life while they proudly watch their two Adult children fly on their own.

    Jonathan Hill

    PA-C

    Jonathan was born and raised in Gwinnett County, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate degree, where he played trumpet in the Redcoat Marching Band and volunteered with the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology Magma Cum Laude with High Honors. After graduation, he worked as an emergency room scribe and pediatric medical assistant. He then attended Physician Assistant school at Mercer University and served as class president. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and was also named the Distinguished Graduate of his cohort. Prior to working at Urgent Care of Oconee, he worked in inpatient pulmonary and critical care. Jonathan has been with our office since 2021 and lives nearby in Statham, GA. He currently serves as a Georgia House of Delegates Representative for the American Academy of Physician Associates. In his free time, Jonathan loves spending time with his wife Kristen, daughter Hallie, and dogs Hickory and Chrysta.

    Joe Hwang

    PA-C

    Joe grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Clarinet Performance. Joe earned a Master of Education in Physical Activity and Health. While attending Auburn University, he met his wife, Sarah. Joe worked in three different hospital systems as a medical laboratory scientist, with a focus on hematology and blood banking. In 2016 he moved to Atlanta to attend Mercer University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Public Health and Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies and received the Distinguished Graduate Award for his PA cohort. Joe's current hobby is powerlifting, and he holds over a dozen national records and four world records. His best lift is a 584lb deadlift at 163lb body weight. Joe is a prolific board gamer, with Settlers of Catan and chess intramural championships under his belt. He is also undefeated (3-0) in university talent shows. His favorite book series is the Color series by Ted Dekker. Joe enjoys anything to do with Winshape Camps, mission trips, and working with the children’s ministry at his local church.

    Ebony Cooke

    PA-C

    Ebony is from Bunn, NC. She earned her undergraduate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Ebony went on to earn her Master of Health Studies in Physician Assistant Studies from South College in Atlanta. Before PA school, Ebony worked in Transfusion Medicine as a phlebotomist and a birth doula. She is a bodybuilder in the wellness division. She is passionate about women’s health and nutrition and loves to workout. Ebony enjoys cooking, all things fitness, health and nutrition. She believes “it is very important to listen to patients in order to come up with a diagnosis and plan.” .

    Crystal Cotrell

    PA-C

    Crystal received her Degree of Physician Assistant from The Medical College of Georgia. Prior to MCG, she graduated from Lagrange College in Biology as a collegiate athlete playing softball. Crystal's areas of interest are Orthopedics and Family Medicine. She has been practicing medicine for over 20 years. She is married to her college sweetheart. They have 4 children with whom they love to spend time together with outdoors.

    Chad Hull

    Chief Operating Officer

    Chad is originally from the Midwest. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Shorter College in Music. Chad went on to earn a Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Prior to working at the Urgent Care of Oconee, he spent time in nephrology and oral surgery and general dentistry. He moved to Athens seven years ago from metro Atlanta, where he lived for nearly 20 years. Chad main interests are reading and the Culture of Literacy, as well as cooking.

    Ashley Milligan

    Front Desk

    Ashley is from Madison, Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She has several years of experience in customer service. Ashley enjoys traveling, hiking, and loving on her dogs in her spare time.

    John Campbell

    PA-C

    John received his master degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Emory University in Atlanta. John became interested in Sports Medicine after suffering a collegiate sports ending knee injury and decided to enter the field of sports medicine. While serving as an athletic trainer for the University of Central Missouri, John graduated with honors receiving a bachelor's degree in fitness/wellness and a masters degree in Sports and Exercise Science. While at Central, he was the head graduate assistant athletic trainer for baseball, wrestling and volleyball and assisted other trainers in football, basketball, track and sports rehabilitation. While at Emory, John was able to work in many different facets of medicine including emergency medicine, pediatrics and orthopedics. John currently volunteers his services to the ARC Disaster Services to help boost efforts to help individuals and families in need of assistance during difficult and trying times. He is a member of the Air National Guard training with a search and rescue medical group in Alabama. John’s areas of interest include family medicine, sports medicine, orthopedic trauma and pediatric care. He and his wife, Ivy, are parents of 2 children, a boy and a girl.

    Jeff Chambers

    PA-C

    Jeff is a Rome, Georgia native who has lived in Oconee area for nearly 30 years. He is a 1991 graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science/Sports Medicine. Jeff went on to earn a Masters Degree in Health Promotion from the University of Georgia in 1998. In 2000, he graduated from Emory University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program with an MMSC. Jeff has worked in both emergency medicine and orthopedics over the past 23 years. He holds board certifications in primary care medicine and a certificate of added qualification in general surgery and orthopedic surgery. Jeff’s experience prior to physician assistant school included serving as an athletic trainer for the University of Georgia and the Minnesota Twins. He has also worked numerous years with local high school athletic teams. Jeff currently serves as a Lt. Col. in the United States Air Force Air National Guard with the 187th Fighter Wing and has extensive medical training in trauma. Jeff is the commander of the Alabama Air National Guard’s CERFP disaster team. Jeff, and his wife Jennifer, have three boys who are graduates of the Oconee school system and are proud to be part of the Oconee community.

    Dr. Wingate

    Harry “Tripp” Wingate, MD, FACEP

    Dr. Wingate is a Georgia native who has been a member of the Oconee community for a number of years. Dr. Wingate is a 1984 cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a 1988 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine. Dr. Wingate is a 1990 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia Family Practice Residency Program and holds board certifications in both Family Practice and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Wingate has over 25 years of experience in emergency medicine and family practice and is the founder and associate editor of the Journal of Rural Emergency Medicine and past chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians section of rural emergency medicine. Dr. Wingate has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations nationally and in rural hospitals throughout northeast Georgia. Dr. Wingate and his wife Ann are the parents of ten children, live in Watkinsville and are proud to be part of a vibrant and growing community.