What Can You and I Do?

Consumer Voice - - Feature -

Use good hygiene. By wash­ing your hands of­ten and thor­oughly with soap and wa­ter, you are help­ing to pre­vent dis­ease, and there­fore the need for an­tibi­otics. Cook­ing meat thor­oughly and han­dling food hy­gien­i­cally will help to pre­vent food-borne ill­nesses. If you are a non-veg­e­tar­ian, choose an­tibi­otics-free meat. Take an­tibi­otics only when nec­es­sary and ex­actly as di­rected by your health­care pro­fes­sional. Do not de­mand an­tibi­otics to treat vi­ral in­fec­tions such as coughs, colds, and the flu. Tak­ing an an­tibi­otic drug when it won’t treat your ill­ness is still as­so­ci­ated with the risk of side ef­fects from that drug, and can con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance.

Fi­nally, as Rus­tav Ami­nov writes in a 2010 re­port on an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance: “It is not a sin­gle grand chal­lenge; it is rather a com­plex prob­lem re­quir­ing con­certed ef­forts of mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gists, ecol­o­gists, health­care spe­cial­ists, ed­u­ca­tion­al­ists, pol­i­cy­mak­ers, leg­isla­tive bod­ies, agri­cul­tural and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try work­ers, and the pub­lic to deal with. In fact, this should be of ev­ery­one’s con­cern, be­cause, in the end, there is al­ways a prob­a­bil­ity for any of us at some stage to get in­fected with a pathogen that is re­sis­tant to an­tibi­otic treat­ment.”

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