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The RI Department of Health (RIDOH) is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remind RI patients, families, and healthcare professionals to Be Antibiotics Aware.
Antibiotics were one of the most significant scientific developments of the 20th century. They’ve made infections that were once fatal routinely treatable, while also allowing for other medical advances, like cancer chemotherapy and organ transplants. However, the overuse of antibiotics, and the use of antibiotics when they are not appropriate, has resulted in many bacteria no longer responding to antibiotic treatment. Each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people get infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria. At least 23,000 people die as a result.
What can you do?
Take prescribed antibiotics exactly as told by healthcare providers.
Never share medication.
Never pressure a doctor into giving antibiotics that were not recommended.
Ask your healthcare provider if there are steps you can take to feel better and get relief from your symptoms without using antibiotics.
Get a flu shot and other immunizations to keep you from getting an illness that might develop into a bacterial infection.
Wash your hands, and take precautions to avoid getting infections which might require antibiotics.
Antibiotics do not work on viruses such as colds and the flu virus, or runny noses. Antibiotics are only needed for treating certain infections caused by bacteria. Anytime antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance. If antibiotics are used when they shouldn’t be used, they won’t help the individual, and the individual can still experience these side effects. Common side effects range from rashes and yeast infections to other severe health problems.
To learn more about antibiotic prescribing and use, visit www.health.ri.gov/antibiotics and www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use