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Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019

Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019Over the years, there has been a rise in certain illnesses which were previously treated with antibiotics. Researchers and medical professionals attribute this to the overuse of antibiotics, which has made these illnesses stronger and able to resist antibiotic treatment. To help make patients and doctors more aware of the global threat of this antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have teamed up to create an annual Antibiotic Awareness Week. This year, it is from November 18 through November 24.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotics are prescribed to treat infections and illnesses caused by bacteria, such as strep throat. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria adapt to resist the antibiotics previously effective in treating and eliminating them.

Not for viruses

Antibiotics help your body fight infections by killing bacteria and keeping them from spreading. Viruses like a cold or the flu do not respond to antibiotic treatment. Even though these are viral infections, antibiotics are not effective. In fact, treating viruses with antibiotics can cause several side effects.

  • Nausea
  • Lightheaded or dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Vomiting

In addition, when antibiotics are continually used to treat viruses, this could lead to anti-resistant bacteria.

Properly use antibiotics

Overuse is one cause of antibiotic resistance. Another is when people misuse antibiotics prescribed to treat a bacterial infection.

  • Keep taking your antibiotics. Use your full prescription even if you start feeling better. If you stop using it, any remaining bacteria could become resistant to the medication.
  • Follow the directions. Take your medication as it is prescribed without missing any doses. Antibiotics are effective when used as directed.
  • Use correct medication. Do not use antibiotics you have saved from a previous illness or someone else’s prescription. Wrong medication can slow your recovery or cause your illness to get worse.

See your doctor

If you feel sick, make sure you visit your doctor. Based on your diagnosis, ask whether an antibiotic treatment is needed or not. Your doctor may be able to suggest some home remedies to help relieve your symptoms. Immediately follow up with your doctor if your symptoms last too long or continue to get worse.

Midwest Express Clinic is proud to be helping raise awareness of antibiotic resistance. Our medical professionals and on-site lab provide can help diagnose and treat bacterial and viral infections. Visit us to learn more or to schedule an appointment at a convenient time and location near you.