We're getting closer to having medical policy that limits antibiotic use to cases where it is actually necessary. The September 15th, 2006 edition of The American Family Physician
noted the following: otitis media (ear infection) with effusion (inflammatory fluid behind the eardrum) should not be treated with antibiotics unless accompanied by several signs that indicate bacterial infection--most ear infections are viral, "nearly all cases of acute bacterial sinusitis resolve without antibiotics"--this means that even when you spike a moderate fever and have thick, green mucous, your sinus infection will most likely resolve without antibiotics, and finally that bronchitis and upper respiratory infections should almost never be treated with antibiotics!
The researcher's primary concern in limiting antibiotic use was the development of antibiotic resistant bugs.
They did not consider the huge individual health burden caused by antibiotic use. These include cancer, gastrointestinal problems, and greatly increased prevalence of immune dysfunction and autoimmune disease
(see my article "Fostering A Healthy Immune System" in the article archive). They go on to note "Increased antibiotic resistance is not inevitable. For example, Finland demonstrated the success of a nationwide effort to reduce antibiotic resistance following an increase in erythromycin resistance among patients with group A streptococci in the early 1990s. Nationwide recommendations were developed for the appropriate use of macrolide antibiotics; these efforts led to a reduction in the use of macrolides and a subsequent decrease in the rate of erythromycin resistance."
So get on the wagon--eat right, rest, enjoy your relationships and your work, exercise, and have faith in the innate intelligence acting through your immune system!
Link to the study.