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The parents of this cute 1 year old arrive at my office just as I’m about to leave. The boy has been febrile for 48 hours and his parents are worried. Physical exam is normal except for a fever and a runny nose. “Most probably a virus” I say. “Why not give antibiotics” the father says, “just to make sure”. I tell him that antibiotics are creating resistant bacteria (which may infect his son or other people in his vicinity).

I tell him that unnecessary antibiotic use increases the risk of asthma in later life:

The father insists, and I’m not angry with him. I have faced this parental worry a countless times before.

With the use of EfA’s automated blood count, I can be more confident of my decision. There is no increase in the number of white blood cells or neutrophils, and that finding lowers substantially the probability of bacterial (as opposed to viral) infections. The parents are at ease, and so am I. The boy will get better without antibiotics.

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