Here's something else to be scared of: drug-resistant superbugs.
According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "more than two million people are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections, with at least 23,000 dying as a result."
Oh, and those numbers are probably too low: "The estimates are based on conservative assumptions and are likely minimum estimates."
The basic issue here is that we're using too many antibiotics — both on ourselves and our animals. The CDC doesn't mince words here:
The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human medicine. However, up to 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed. Antibiotics are also commonly used in food animals to prevent, control, and treat disease, and to promote the growth of food-producing animals. The use of antibiotics for promoting growth is not necessary, and the practice should be phased out.
For the rest of the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/16/taking-antibiotics-you-dont-really-need-might-kill-you/