Do You Really Need That Antibiotic?
Feb 02, 2015 11:49AM
● By Millie Shelton
As reported in HealthDay News: “Community acquired infections and diseases are on the rise.” Despite all of the information that is available to us in this country regarding the spread of infectious illnesses and disease, there continues to be an increase in illnesses throughout the country. Complacency and a lack of basic hand hygiene practices, improper hand sanitizer techniques and overuse of antibiotics seem to be a contributing factor to this problem. Hand washing is still the most important thing we can do to prevent an illness.
We have become dependent on antimicrobial hand cleaners to protect us from colds, flu and other illnesses, but the fact is antimicrobial hand cleaners are ineffective on many of those organisms because in most cases they are used improperly. Colds and flu being viruses are difficult to control and if the hands are visibly dirty or greasy then sanitizers become less effective when used according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Factor into this equation the over prescribed and overused antibiotics that are ineffective on many viruses, which opens the door for “super bugs” to immerge. The CDC states, “Proper hand washing is still our body’s single best defense against the spread of germs and bacteria.”
MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is one such “super bug” that is resistant to many antibiotics and “it is on the rise in our communities” published in Science Daily in June 2013. Whenever people go to the doctor for colds, flu, bronchitis, sore throats and some ear infections, they run a risk of those antibiotics causing a stronger antibiotic resistance organism to immerge. The next time you go to the doctor for an illness and he/she wants to prescribe an antibiotic ask the following important questions published by the CDC on November 17, 2014 titled “Get smart about antibiotics.”
Do I really need an antibiotic?
Can I get better without this antibiotic?
What are the side effects?
What side effects should I report?
How do you know what kind of infection I have?
I understand that antibiotics will not work for viral infections.
Millie Shelton is a registered nurse. Her goal is to instruct and inform all people in the workplace how to protect themselves, their co-workers and their family’s against illness and disease. To schedule an informational class at your workplace, call 321-960-7311 or email [email protected].