Antibiotics treat infections by killing bacteria. However, bacteria are now fighting back and our medicines are being less effective. We must tackle this problem. It is only getting worse.
There are many reasons why antibiotics lose their effectiveness. Here are the key ones: We take medicines we don’t need. Antibiotics are ineffective against the viruses that cause colds and coughs. Also, we don’t take antibiotics as prescribed. Complications arise from missing doses.
Did you know? Already, it is estimated that 25,000 people in Europe die every year because of infections resistant to antibiotics. Prior to antibiotics, 1 in 10 healthy young people died from pneumonia and skin infections. Now, this is around 1 in 100.
The likelihood of GPs prescribing antibiotics for coughs and colds increased by 40% between 1999-2011. What can you do? We cannot eradicate antibiotic resistance but there are a number of actions we can take.
Take to preserve antibiotics for infections. If you think your child has a likely respiratory infection, talk to your pharmacist about how to treat your child’s symptoms first rather than going to the GP.
Sing the ABC song when washing your hands with soap and water. Washing hands properly (at least 30 seconds), especially before eating, is the single best way to prevent the spread of infections and keep your family healthy.
If anyone in your family is prescribed antibiotics, ensure they are taken exactly as prescribed and never shared with others. For more tips visit antibioticguardian.com