Taking ANTIBIOTICS When You Don’t Need Them Puts You and Your Family at RISK

 

Antibiotic resistance is the world’s greatest health threat. Some bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics that were once commonly used to treat them. These bacteria can also spread from person-to-person.

A global study estimated that in 2019, almost 5 million deaths occurred with an infection involving antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Some 1.3 million would not have occurred if the bacteria were not resistant.

Antibiotic resistance is not about your body becoming resistant to antibiotics. Resistance arises when bacteria are exposed to levels of antibiotics that don’t immediately kill them. They develop defences that prevent the same antibiotic from harming them in the future, even at higher doses.

Bacteria can easily adapt partly due to their astonishing rate of reproduction. Some species, such as Escherichia coli, can replicate as quickly as every 20 minutes, depending on the environment. One bacterium can become more than 68 billion bacteria in 12 hours.

When bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, this can make infections and diseases more serious, and very hard and costly to treat.

We can all help reduce antibiotic resistance. Protect yourself and others by using antibiotics wisely. Overuse of antibiotics creates antibiotic-resistant germs. Antibiotics are not necessary for viral infections such as colds, sore throats, sore ears and sinus infections. Many infections will get better by themselves, and don’t necessarily need antibiotics.

If it’s necessary to take them, take for as short a time as possible, make sure you complete the course, and don’t share antibiotics.