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WHO announces World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019

The World Health Organization has declared the week of November 18 to be World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019, and they’ve set up a resources page where you can learn more about the threat that antibiotic resistance poses and how you can do your part to fight it.

The bulk of the informational material is in a set of multilingual posters, but here’s a summary (with some paraphrasing) in case you don’t want to scroll through a bunch of images. All of the steps below are aimed at preventing infection, so that you don’t have to get antibiotics in the first place.

  • Wash your hands
  • Vaccinate your kids, and keep your own vaccinations up-to-date
  • Practice safe sex
  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Prepare food hygienically
  • Don’t share antibiotics with others (they may not need it and it increases resistance)
  • Follow the advice of a qualified health professional when taking antibiotics

A recent report claims that antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” will probably kill 400,000 Canadians by 2050, and claims that the problem is as big of a risk to life as climate change, if not bigger.

There is also a brand new CDC report on antibiotic resistance which says the problem is far worse than they originally thought, with 35,000 people dying per year in the US because of superbugs. This is double what the CDC projected the death toll to be in its initial 2013 version of this report.

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  • Scott Byron

    Forgive my ignorance, but isn’t antibiotic resistance caused by prescribing/taking too many antibiotics?

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    • Jon StokesThe Prepared Scott Byron

      From what I understand, the main culprit is actually agricultural overuse — we give antibiotics to farm animals to make them bigger. But yeah, human overprescription is a factor, as well.

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