Antibiotic resistance is an example of drug resistance. Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to public health. Today, antibiotic resistance is causing 7,00,000 deaths annually. This number is expected to rise by 10 million deaths annually by 2050. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria acquire the ability to defeat the medicines that are designed to kill them. This means the bacteria do not get destroyed and continue to thrive in the body. Infections that can be easily treatable with common antibiotics are becoming unmanageable. This is because antibiotic-resistant bacteria are often more difficult to diagnose, kill, and more expensive to treat. In some cases, antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to serious disability or even death.
Misuse and overuse of antibiotics are the main reasons why bacteria develop resistance and render antibiotics ineffective. Without effective antibiotics, many common infections and routine surgeries may become life-threatening.
Some bacteria normally acquire resistance to common antibiotics as a part of the natural selection process. Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria (those which can be killed by antibiotics) are destroyed, but resistant bacteria are left to grow and multiply. This is how repeated and excessive use of antibiotics can increase the number of drug-resistant bacteria.
How to protect yourself
Here are some tips that can protect you from developing antibiotic resistance:
1. Don’t start or stop antibiotics by choice. Always seek a doctor’s/physician’s advice.
2. Try to avoid taking antibiotics for cold and flu. These infections are usually caused by viruses and not bacteria.
3. If the doctor has prescribed you antibiotics, then complete the antibiotic course of 3-5 days.
4. Don’t use leftover antibiotics or share them with others.
5. Avoid using a combination of multiple antibiotics for treatment. Strict to one.
6. Maintain personal hygiene, you can easily prevent basic infections by regularly washing hands and keeping cleanliness.
Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.