As World Antibiotic Awareness Week began on Monday, the United Nations, through its Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), called for responsible use of antibiotics in humans and animals to reduce the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Taking antibiotics when you don't need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which in turn can not be easily treated with antibiotics.
According to Allen County Public Health, at least 2 million people will get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year.
Correct use of antibiotics is part the Australian Government's National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy which focuses on measures to prevent antibiotic resistance and decrease inappropriate use of antibiotics across all sectors.
"People should purchase antibiotics from organisations that have complied with the law to supply antibiotics", he said.
Imperial staff and students will have an opportunity to hand over any unused antibiotics this week as part of an annual amnesty.
He said the other issue when buying antibiotics from unauthorised outlets is that a full dose will not be given which can contribute to resistance. But it's also about giving them some practical advice that will help them, or their child, feel better - getting good rest, ensuring adequate fluid intake, and advising on proper pain relief.
The responsible use of antibiotics will be in the spotlight this weekend as European Antibiotic Awareness Day is marked this Saturday, and it has the support of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). "Antimicrobial veterinary medicines are a crucial tool for animal health and welfare and safe food production, but they are by no means the only tool".
Chris Little is the infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist at Capital Coast District Health Board. "The volume of antibiotics used in animals is continuing to increase worldwide, driven by a growing demand for foods of animal origin, often produced through intensive animal husbandry".
"It is important for people to understand that if they are feeling under the weather and see their GP or a nurse, antibiotics may not be prescribed if they are not effective for their condition, but they should expect to have a full discussion about how to manage their symptoms".
"We need to raise awareness, particularly in younger people, that antibiotics are a precious resource which are ineffective for the treatment of viruses and should be reserved for the treatment of bacterial infections".
You can read about the Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan at New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan.
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