Cumbria leading the fight against antibiotic resistance

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Cumbria leading the fight against antibiotic resistance

Posted on Thursday 3rd July 2014

 

Cumbria leading the fight against antibiotic resistance

Following a campaign led by family doctors in Cumbria, the latest figures highlight that antibiotic prescribing across Cumbria last year dropped by 7.11 per cent, the lowest in the North East and Cumbria region and more than the national average of 4.47.

The ‘Antibiotics are not always the answer…’ campaign organised and funded by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) highlighted the importance of using antibiotics wisely to ensure their preserve their strength to fight future bacterial illnesses.

The campaign, which included posters and booklets for GP surgeries and a postcard which was sent to every household in Cumbria also uniformed people about when antibiotics were not the answer, for example treating viral infections such as sore throats, ear ache and colds. The Cumbrian public awareness campaign was also mentioned in the European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2013 Evaluation report.

NHS Cumbria CCG, Medical Director Dr David Rogers said: “The aim of the campaign was to remind the public the importance of not using antibiotics to fight viral infections as there is a danger that they are losing their effectiveness faster than ever seen before.

“Antibiotics have revolutionised medical care in the last 80 years and are the best way to fight bacterial infection, but have no effect on viral infections.

“However in recent years the bugs have gained the upper hand, as they have the ability to change and adapt making some bacteria antibiotic resistant. Therefore it is important that we only give antibiotics when they are really needed and will have a real effect.

“The latest antibiotics prescribing figures for Cumbria are good news for the fight against antibiotic resistance. However, we cannot be complacent and need to keep the message out there – antibiotics are not always the answer.

"I'd ask all patients to make sure they don't put health professionals under pressure to provide antibiotics for self limiting viral infection. But if they are prescribed them for a bacterial infection it’s important that the course is finished completely and that people don't stop taking a prescription just because they feel better."

The World Health Organisation (WHO) state that: “Antibiotic resistance is one of the three greatest threats to human health”.

If resistance to antibiotics continues to increase at its current rate there are worries that bacterial pneumonia could again mean a death sentence for some people, as it often did until just after the Second World War.

Posted on Thursday 3rd July 2014

 

 
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