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Doctors Warn Against Misuse of Antibiotics

Sam Eaton
10/17/2001

With the cold and flu season approaching, doctors and health care providers in Washington are warning against misuse of antibiotics. They say these once potent drugs are becoming increasingly ineffective. KUOW’s Sam Eaton reports.

BACTERIAL INFECTIONS ARE THE CAUSE OF COMMON SICKNESSES SUCH AS PNEUMONIA AND STREP THROAT. THEY’RE EASILY TREATED WITH ANTIBIOTICS. BUT ACCORDING TO THE “ALLIANCE WORKING FOR ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE EDUCATION,” OR “AWARE,” NEW STRAINS OF ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANT BACTERIA ARE BEING CREATED AT EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS. THE REASON FOR THIS, ACCORDING TO “AWARE’S” WASHINGTON DIRECTOR, DR ART SPRENKLE, IS THAT DOCTORS ARE OVERPRESCRIBING ANTIBIOTICS. HE SAYS IN MANY CASES DOCTORS ARE GIVING THEM TO PATIENTS WITH THE COMMON COLD OR THE FLU… VIRAL INFECTIONS NOT TREATABLE WITH ANTIBIOTICS. People actually can and will die from bacteria that will not respond to antibiotics. The good news is that we have evidence from other places in the world that by cutting back on the use of antibiotics and only using them appropriately you can reverse these resistance patterns. AWARE HAS LAUNCHED AN EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO DO JUST THAT. THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AND THE STATE’S LARGEST HEALTH PLANS HAVE JOINED TOGETHER TO LAUNCH A SERIES OF EDUCATIONAL TV ADS. THEY’VE ALSO CREATED A SET OF STRICTER GUIDELINES FOR DOCTORS PRESCRIBING ANTIBIOTICS. SAM EATON, KUOW, 94.9, PUBLIC RADIO.

07.16.18

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