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Q: What is antiobiotics resistance?

Posted November 14, 2012 in Advice Column

A: With winter fast approaching it seems to bring with it sickness. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is sponsoring Get Smart about Antibiotics Week Nov. 12 – 18. The CDC would like to bring awareness to antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use.

As many of us have heard, antibiotics are being over-used and causing organisms to become resistant. The two age groups largely affected by these resistant bugs are pediatrics and geriatrics. Young kids and older adults have weaker immune systems and become sick quicker. The development of resistant germs leads to longer illnesses, an increase in doctor visits, more time in hospitals and the need to use toxic medications.

The No. 1 way to prevent the spread of infection is proper hand washing. We can also eat a well-balanced diet, stay hydrated, keep a consistent sleep schedule and exercise. As healthcare consumers we can make a difference by avoiding the use of antibiotics for viral infections such a  the common cold, influenza, bronchitis and sore throat. If you do have a viral infection the best thing to do is get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and take an over-the-counter fever reducer. Ultimately if you are concerned, go to your local health care provider. He or she will be able to determine if your condition warrants the need for antibiotic therapy. If you are prescribed antibiotics, you want to be sure that you take the medication as prescribed and finish the prescription.

Information provided by Jade Williams R.N., B.S.N.; Healthcare Coordinator at Windsor Manor Assisted Living of Webster City.

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