World Antibiotic Week!

We are at the end of World Antibiotic week for 2019 but we wanted to make sure we passed along some important information about this week. This week observes and highlights the steps everyone can take to improve antibiotic prescribing and usage.

Antibiotics do save lives, it's a critical tool for treating a number of common and more severe infections that can lead to life threatening situations. At least 30% of the antibiotics in the United States for at home use, are prescribed unnecessarily, when used correctly they can save lives however, using them incorrectly or when not needed can cause bacteria to become antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic Resistant is when the bacteria develop the ability to defeat the medication that is designed to kill it. This happens more often and mostly due to people not using them as directed, or stopping when they start to feel better. More than 2.8 million infections from bacteria that are resistant ti antibiotics occur each year and more than 35,000 people die as a direct result.

the CDC has training and more information that can help learn and teach about the good and bad of antibiotics, and always use #BeAntibioticAware when posting about the positive and negative effects.

History of World Antibiotic Awareness week:

The World Health Organization (WHO) projects a sense of urgency around the global issue of antibiotic resistance — and with good reason. If you develop an illness or an infection that can’t be treated in the traditional way with antibiotics, you can die. It’s as simple as that. 

WHO saw this as an increasing problem all over the world as poverty-driven conditions caused illnesses and infections that were increasingly resistant to antibiotics. In May, 2015, the World Health Assembly upgraded this antibiotic resistance to an international emergency. WHO described the problem as “New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases. A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhoea, and foodborne diseases – are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective.” 

WHO outlined five goals about global antibiotic resistance including: raising awareness,  increasing monitoring and research, reducing infections, making the best use of antimicrobial medications and committing to “sustainable investment.” 

Most importantly, these goals formed an antibiotics resistance framework that nations could use to prioritize medical experts and researchers in their countries and to allocate resources. In addition to preventing antibiotic resistance in humans, national action plans were to align with global efforts in creating antimicrobial medications for better animal health as well as use in agriculture.  Countries were to report back to the WHO health assemblies by 2017. Since then, there’s been increasing news coverage, both locally and internationally, on the widening problem of antibiotic resistance.

To learn more about what’s happening around the world and what you can do in your own backyard, log onto WHO’s website and download great materials  for events and discussions that you can join or start yourself around a global menace — resistance to antibiotics.

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