Half of the antibiotics prescribed by general practitioners are administered inappropriately and promote the emergence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Many people had simple infections and often died. Then we invented the medical miracle of antibiotics, and many people did not get simple infections anymore and often died. And then we started antibiotics all the time, and the bacteria they were supposed to fight fought off. The bacteria were getting stronger and now many of these so-called superbug bacteria are laughing at our once miraculous antibiotics. And voila, welcome to the fearsome world of antibiotic resistance – the CDC identifies one of the most serious public health issues in the United States and "threatens to bring us back to the days when simple infections were often fatal". How bad is it ? According to a new report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), over the next three decades, if there are no more antibiotic resistances, then over-the-top infections will kill around 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia. So far, in the United States alone, at least 2 million people each year become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die from these infections. The antibiotics are useless in the face of these resistant microbes. In the countries covered by the OECD report, half of the antibiotics prescribed by general practitioners are inappropriately treated. According to the CDC, around 30 percent of antibiotics in the United States – equivalent to 47 million prescriptions – are unnecessarily prescribed in doctors' offices and emergency rooms. The authors of the OECD report suggest five strategies to address this potentially catastrophic health problem: improving hospital hygiene to improve diagnostic tools (for more information on these strategies, see page 19 of the report). But the one that I've noticed and that we can address as patients is to promote a more prudent use of antibiotics. While the report lists numerous reasons why a physician prescribes antibiotics when this is not required, it is often necessary to satisfy the patient's request. (The reasons why doctors have often inappropriately dispensed antibiotics are intriguing, see more on page 28 of the report.) Antibiotics are therefore often indispensable and lifesaving to combat bacterial infections. We need antibiotics to fight serious infections like pneumonia and life-threatening infections like sepsis. We need antibiotics for people who are at high risk of developing infections, eg. Good enough. But not all bacterial infections are helped by antibiotics. The CDC notes, "Antibiotics do not help with some bacterial infections, including most cases of bronchitis, many sinus infections, and some ear infections." Here's the key: Antibiotics will not help you if you have a viral infection. If you are sick of a virus – such as cold, flu, or cold (even if the mucus is screaming "infection"), antibiotics will do nothing for you. Excessive use and inappropriate use of antibiotics in humans and agriculture are the driving force behind antibiotic resistance, according to the OECD report. Therefore we only have to use them when they are really necessary. Not to mention the side effects such as rash, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, fungal infections and Clostridium difficile infections, which cause diarrhea, which can lead to serious intestinal damage and death. Someone near me had just torn both Achilles tendons thanks to antibiotics. And of course, people can also have severe and life-threatening allergic reactions. So, what do you do instead? The CDC recommends talking with your doctor about the best treatment for your or your loved one. "If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your antibiotics or if you develop any side effects, especially diarrhea, as this may be a C. difficile infection that needs to be treated promptly. "The center explains that respiratory viruses usually go away in a week or two without treatment. And in the meantime, there are ways to feel better about what you can ask your doctor about. And it never hurts to not get sick. Wash your hands properly, this is your first defense. Get a flu shot. And if you get sick, spare the others – cover off your coughing (and careless spitting and sneezing!) And stay home if you can. Wikimedia Commons / Public DomainLimitation can be found here: • 9 natural remedies for sinus pain • Cough syrup not work; These remedies do • Make your own sore throat lozenges
Half of the antibiotics prescribed by general practitioners are inappropriately administered and promote the emergence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
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