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resistant bacteria
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Antibiotic Resistance Is A Serious Concern
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Antibiotic Resistance is A Serious Concern

What are they

Antibiotics are life saving medications that are used to treat infections that are caused by bacteria. Antibiotics have always been effective in treating bacterial infections for many years and have saved many peoples lives but now antibiotic resistance is a serious concern.

What is the problem

More recently there are growing serious concerns, over increasing reports about antibiotic resistance. The over usage of antibiotics have meant that today there are more antibiotics that are becoming ineffective against certain bacteria. This is because bacteria have mutated and have developed a resistance to some antibiotics.

You will have heard the names MRSA and C. diff that are strains of bacteria that have been labelled super bugs because of there resistance to many different types of antibiotics. The ultimate worry for us all is that there could be new strains of bacteria that arise, which will be resistant to all antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance is not new but has been steadily growing over a number of years. There are new strains of resistant bacteria that are spreading around the world because of the mobility and travelling of people.

It is now a problem that has come to the attention of Governments and the World Health Organisation and will need to be addressed as an urgent concern. Antibiotic resistance has now become an increasing global problem with medical experts saying that antibiotic resistance is a medical time bomb and compares it to as big a risk to nations as terrorism is. Strong words indeed, yet clearly people need to be more aware of this problem because it could have implications for our treatment now or in the future

What can we do

Antibiotics are and have been over prescribed and are sometimes given to us for viral illness such as a cold.

If you go the doctors with a cold or some other virus, do not ask for antibiotics. Unless you have a bacterial infection your doctor should not be prescribing antibiotics at all. You might feel absolutely dreadful and think that you need to take antibiotics, but viral illnesses do get better by themselves. Antibiotics are not required for viral illness at all. The body’s own immune system will cope and you will get better on your own from a cold virus.

Doctors also need to be educated about over prescribing antibiotics, when they are not needed. We always think that the doctor knows best and when we are unwell it is normally wise to follow your doctor’s advice but some doctors do over prescribe antibiotics and will need education in not doing continuing to do so.

If you do have a bacterial infection and are prescribed antibiotics then it is important that you take the whole course. Even if you are feeling much better straight away and think its okay, not to take the rest. If you do not complete the whole course then some bacteria can end up remaining and this is one of the ways that bacteria can develop resistance.

In the future new antibiotics will continue to be developed although it is said that these too can become resistant to bacteria. Also the new antibiotics that are already used are said to be less effective and may have more side effects. Also other new antibiotics will take time to develop. Meanwhile everyone needs to be aware of this problem and be educated in the taking of antibiotics.

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