World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria become resistant to the active ingredients in these medicines

This year, the WHO European Region will mark the 4th annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week on 12-18 November, by committing to closer collaboration across sectors to protect human, animal and environment health, in the spirit of One Health.

The WHO says that "persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics have encouraged the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance" and "antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, and is threatening our ability to combat common infectious diseases and support modern medical procedures".

"We can help by seeking advice from a health professional before taking antibiotics".

Antibiotic resistance is a growing and serious health problem. The newer antibiotics have been found to be less effective, have more side effects, cost more, and contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Do not take a swab or use antibiotics for the management of a leg ulcer without clinical infection. However, due to antibiotic resistance, the very medicine that once cured us of diseases now threatens to render these same diseases incurable. There simply aren't enough new antibiotics being developed to battle increasingly drug resistant bacteria.

But the World Health Organization is also concerned about the under-consumption of antibiotics. More than two million people in the United States get infections that are resistant to antibiotics annually, and at least 23,000 people die as a result, according to the CDC.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is supporting this year's World Antibiotic Awareness Week theme of "Together we can keep antibiotics working". One of the aims of the event is to start a conversation about why people need to change their behaviours and attitudes towards antibiotics. Sometimes, increasing the dose of an antibiotic can help tackle a more severe infection but in some instances - and these are becoming more and more frequent - no dose seems to control the bacterial growth. "To avoid this, more people need to understand that antibiotics should only be used when they are needed and prescribed appropriately, because the consequences of not doing so are considerable".

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What can be done about antibiotic resistance?

Last year, we were given over 290 tablets or capsules across a range of antibiotics including co-amoxiclav, Erythromycin, Ciprofloxacin and Pyrazinamide. This is a wrong notion since viral infections can not be cured by bacterial antibiotics. Owing to the development of antibiotic resistance, these drugs are losing effectiveness.

She said that antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria (not humans or animals) become resistant to the active ingredients in these medicines.

In 2018 alone, the Pork Checkoff funded almost $400,000 across multiple research areas to evaluate antibiotic alternatives and other methods to minimise on-farm antibiotic use.

Always finish your course of antibiotics.

Calling for urgent action, including prescription-only policies, the report said that amoxicillin and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid are the most frequently used antibiotics worldwide.

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