Monday, May 9, 2011

How to prevent drug-resistant infections

Antibiotic resistant bacteria seem to be getting more prevalent. Health agencies offer a number of tips for avoiding the production of more drug-resistant strains and avoiding infection with already existing populations:

  • Avoid the overuse or misuse of antibiotics. 
    • As a patient: Take the complete prescribed course as directed by the prescribing doctor, even if you feel better before it is done.
    • As a doctor: Prescribe antibiotics only for bacterial infections. Use the drugs, dosage, and duration of use that are best suited for the infection.
  • Avoid contact with known bacterial infections.
  • Practice appropriate hygiene practices: wash hands regularly and disinfect shared items and surfaces, but avoid the overuse of antibacterial cleaners. Households without at-risk individuals should not use antibacterial soaps or cleansers.
For more information, see the CDC fact sheet on antibiotic resistance and GetSmart fast facts

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