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Antibiotics – You Don’t Always Need Them

Date: Monday, November 13, 2017

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week – November 13-19, 2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is recognizing U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, November 13-19, 2017, to help decrease the misuse of antibiotics and protect people from the dangers of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibiotics do NOT cure viral infections such as colds, flu, most sore throats, most coughs and bronchitis, many sinus infections, and many ear infections.

“Antibiotics are crucial in treating many diseases. However, when antibiotics are used incorrectly or unnecessarily, which happens more than 50 percent of the time according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bacteria become resistant to antibiotics,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “As bacteria become more resistant to antibiotics, those bacterial illnesses will be more difficult to treat or untreatable.”

According to the CDC, each year in the United States at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections.

Since 2012, IDPH has maintained antibiotic stewardship initiatives engaging health care facilities across the state. This November, Illinois’ program is expanding its focus to dentists, who comprise the fourth-highest antibiotic prescribing group in the United States. In addition to distributing antibiotic prescribing guidelines and patient education materials, IDPH will conduct a survey of Illinois dentists to learn what they are doing to improve their antibiotic prescribing practices and what challenges they face in doing so.

How you can help prevent antibiotic resistance:

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a common cold and a bacterial infection. Check with a health care professional if:

Join the antibiotic resistance conversation all week by following @CDCgov and @IPDH for more updates and to #BeAntibioticsAware

Attachments: IDPH Antibiotic Awareness Week Release

Winnebago County
404 Elm Street
Rockford, IL 61101
OFC: (815) 319-4444

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