Why should I care about antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing health issues. It can lead to higher medical costs as antibiotic resistant bacteria are often more difficult to kill. Sometimes, these infections lead to prolonged hospitalisation, serious disability, and increased mortality. According to the CDC, it can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become dangerous infections, prolonging suffering for children and adults.

Finally, antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread to family members, schoolmates, friends and co-workers.

So, what is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic. It occurs when bacteria changes in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survives and continues to multiply, causing more harm to the patient’s health.

Overuse of antibiotics can cause bacteria to become resistant, meaning current treatments will no longer work.

Although some people think a person becomes resistant to specific drugs, it is the bacteria, not the person, that become resistant to the drugs.

What should I do?

Never misuse antibiotics. You should only take antibiotics prescribed to you by your doctor and do not share share them with family and friends. You must always seek the advice of a qualified health care professional when taking antibiotics. And remember, antibiotics DO NOT treat viral infections, like colds and flu.

The same applies to your domestic pets.