Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Antibiotics – Should you be taking them?

Do you have a sore throat? The Flu?  Well stop taking Antibiotics!

Antibiotics DON’T fight against infections that have come about by viruses, these range from sore throats, colds, flu, bronchitis and ear infections. Whist taking antibiotics for these viral infections may let you rest easily thinking you are getting better, while in fact they don’t cure the infection or minimise other people around you from getting sick at all.[1] If you are suffering a virus caused infection, like the flu, the best treatment is rest and plenty of fluids, and in time the virus will go away. Below is an image which will let you know if you need antibiotics or not, sourced from the centres for disease control and prevention webpage.

Furthermore the misuse of antibiotics this may put others around you at a higher risk of falling sick of a bacterial infections that can’t be cured as easily as using antibiotics as it has been in the past. Due to it becoming antibiotic resistant (Antimicrobial resistance, in the scientific community), which comes from the bacteria fighting off the antibiotics and will continue to harm you and others around you.

As stated in an article by the SBS “National Prescribing Service (NPS) data shows that the proportion of cases where bacterial infections have been found to be resistant to antibiotics has jumped from 10 per cent in 2000 to 25 per cent in 2010.”[2]

This shows how just in 10 years the rate of bacterial resistance has increased 15%. If the misuse and the practice of over prescribing these medicines continues, this figure will only rise further, allowing even more and more bacterial infections to be immune to antibiotics. (This issue will be focused on in detail in my next blog.)

The problem is fed by everyday misinformed Australians where 65% believe that antibiotics will help them when they have something like a simple flu. But this problem is also known greatly to Gps, but still a staggering 60% of Gps in Australia that were surveyed, would prescribe antibiotics just to satisfy the demands of their own patient.[3]

How this is happening? I am not sure, but the Australian government has recognised this problem as well and in the middle of last year announced a national strategy to address antibiotic overuse.[4] Through monitoring this will lead to great health benefits in the long run and allow antibiotics to work to kill off bacterial infections well in to the 21st century.

References

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/features/getsmart/
  2. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2012/04/19/health-crisis-growing-overuse-antibiotics
  3. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/australians-are-some-of-the-biggest-consumers-of-antibiotics-in-the-world-2015-6
  4. https://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2015-ley066.htm
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One comment on “Antibiotics – Should you be taking them?

  1. skyvalley9
    April 26, 2016

    Clear, to the point, informative, sequential and effective use of images and data. Great job!

    Like

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This entry was posted on April 11, 2016 by in Geelong - Wednesday 11am.

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