18/11/2019

Future Of Antibiotics 'Depends On Us All'

The future of antibiotics "depends on us all", with everyone required to work together to fight off superbugs, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride has said.

Marking the start of World Antibiotics Awareness Week (18-24 November), Dr McBride said: "Antibiotics have been fighting infections which might otherwise have proved fatal for almost 100 years yet we are now seeing cases of infection on which antibiotics do not work. Bacteria and microbes have mutated and evolved and are rapidly becoming resistant to even our most powerful antimicrobials.
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"Resistance is much wider than human medicine. It is also about farming, veterinary medicine, the food chain and the environment. These are all inextricably linked which is why we are working across disciplines and between organisations to deal with the threat if we are to avoid a post-antibiotic disaster. This collaborative approach is known as 'One Health' and earlier this year we produced a five-year action plan to tackle the issue."

Dr McBride said that each of us can join in the fight and that one of the most effective weapons that we have is soap and water. Washing your hands is the best way to prevent infections occurring in the first place, and reduce the need for antibiotics to treat them.

Concluding, Dr McBride said: "Trust your doctor and accept their advice that an antibiotic may not be appropriate for every infection. Doctors have the knowledge and diagnostic tools to decide the best treatment for you. If each of us follows these simple steps we can all help keep antibiotics working for the future."

(MH/CM)

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