Health Officials Raise Awareness Over Smart Antibiotic Use

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led an awareness campaign of antibiotic resistance and promoting the responsible use of antibiotics through Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, which continues through Sunday.  A lof of people do not know when to take and when not to take antibiotics, and this is why CDC's campaign, now on its 7th year, aims to educate people. 

State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams said: "Antibiotic resistance is a more pervasive threat than many people know.  By prescribing antibiotics responsibly, healthcare providers can help ensure that patients with serious bacterial infections have access to effective, life-saving medications."

Some People Incorrectly Take Antibiotics To Treat Flu Or A Cold

In a study conducted recently, data shows that there is an alarming misconception about the use of antibiotics.  Nearly 20 percent still expected an antibiotic prescription for a cold or influenza-like illness.  This highlights the need for public health campaigns promoting awareness of antibiotic resistance, according to Christina Gaarslev, of Oslo kommune Helseetaten, Norway, and colleagues.

Antibiotics are for bacteria, not viruses, so taking antibiotics for viral infections, such as a cold, the flu or most types of bronchitis, will not cure the infections, keep other individuals from catching the illness or help you feel better, health officials said. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases the risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.

Public Awareness On Proper Antibiotic Use Is Deemed Necessary By Experts

 "It has been estimated that 20 percent to 50 percent of all antimicrobial use is inappropriate, and Australia contributes to the problem by being one of the largest antibiotic consumers in the world," the authors of the study wrote.  "One of the contributing factors is the inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for nonspecific upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Patient/carer expectations have been identified as one of the main drivers for inappropriate antibiotic-prescribing by primary care physicians."

"There is an urgent need for the core message of future public health campaigns to be focused on the personal consequences of taking antibiotics inappropriately and the implications of antibiotic resistance for the general public," Gaarslev and colleagues concluded. "Key messages should focus on the immediate and dire repercussions of antibiotic resistance for individuals and their families in the short term."  

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