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UTMB Researchers Treat Ear Infections without Antibiotics

KUHF-FM (NPR) Freq. 88.7 Houston TX (Internet / Radio) June 6, 2005

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston say a "watchful waiting" approach to treating some childhood ear infections might be just as effective, and more wise, than using traditional antibiotics. Their study could lead to new strategies in slowing the development of antibiotic-resistant viruses. The study included 223 children with non-severe ear infections between the ages of 6 months and 12 years, with half given antibiotics and the others given pain medication and monitored by their parents. Researchers found that 66 percent of children who were simply monitored recovered without antibiotics. "We know that most children with non-severe infections will get better anyway because they have it with a virus infection and when they get over the virus, they get over the ear. It's a matter of managing the children with good pain management, Motrin or Tylanol, comfort care and observation, and most will do well," says lead study author Dr. David McCormick.

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