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European Antibiotic Awareness Day: Keep Antibiotics Working

European Antibiotic Awareness Day is taking place on 18 November 2020 and residents of Herefordshire and Worcestershire are reminded to keep antibiotics working effectively.   

Members of the public are being urged to only take antibiotics when they need them before it is too late and we return to a pre-antibiotic age where common infections and illnesses become untreatable due to overuse making antibiotics ineffective. 

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control warns: “Before the discovery of antibiotics, thousands of people died from bacterial diseases, such as pneumonia or infection following surgery.  

Because resistance is increasing and few new antibiotics have been discovered and marketed in recent years, antibiotic resistance is now a major public health threat.” 

Antibiotics should only be used against bacterial infections and not infections caused by viruses such as common colds or the flu.  

Your doctor or nurse will only prescribe antibiotics when absolutely necessary and you must take them responsibly. Take antibiotics as directed on the packet or as instructed by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.  

Dr David Farmer, Clinical lead of Medicines Management for NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “It’s important that patient’s listen to their doctor’s advice and understand that antibiotics won’t be prescribed if they are not going to be effective.  Many illnesses can be fought off by our body’s own immune system, including a sore throat, a cold or the flu.  

“If you have a minor illness; rest, keep warm, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and contact your local pharmacy for advice on medicines you can take at home.” 

For more information about antibiotics visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/antibiotics/