President Obama recently proclaimed Nov. 16-22 “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week" in an attempt to raise awareness among clinicians and patients about the overprescribing of antibiotics and how it can lead to antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance happens when germs can no longer be stopped by the antibiotics that originally could control them. This resistance can be dangerous to even minor infections.
“All of us can take action," Dr. Lauri Hicks, director of the Centers for Disease Control's Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, recently told Patient Daily. "The way we use antibiotics today impacts how useful they will be tomorrow. We all have a responsibility to be vigilant: consumers, parents, health care providers, hospitals, governments. We are especially pleased that many organizations and companies are joining the ranks to promote public awareness.”
The CDC aims to convince clinicians to prescribe fewer antibiotics, while also encouraging patients to question the use of antibiotics unless it is necessary and taking antibiotics as prescribed. Encouraging everyone to practice effective hand washing and getting vaccinated to prevent illnesses such as the flu also can help combat issues that lead to antibiotic resistance.
Health care providers, government agencies, social media platforms, airlines, department stores and pharmacies are all contributing to help inform the general population of the growing concerns of antibiotic resistance, which kills approximately 23,000 people each year.
“Antibiotic resistance is one of the deadliest health threats facing the world,” Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director, said. “These pledges will help protect the antibiotics we have so we can use these miracle drugs to save lives for years to come.”
Get Smart About Antibiotics Week puts spotlight on drug resistance
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