When you are feeling unwell, what do you do? Most would no doubt book an appointment with their Doctor and hope that antibiotics could be prescribed in order to speed the process of feeling better again.
However it is far too easy to assume that antibiotics will work for any ailment, such as the common cold. You may be frustrated when your Doctor refuses antibiotics for a general cold, though your Doctor is doing this for good reason. As taking antibiotics unnecessarily causes dangerous bacteria to become resistant which means antibiotics may not actually work when they are really needed to.
A review on antimicrobial resistance and stopping the unnecessary use of antibiotics in October 2015 stated than an estimated 5,000 people die each year in England as a result of antibiotics no longer working for some infections – that’s 13 people every day. In around 30 years we could see 60,000 people die every year because antibiotics have stopped helping them – that’s around 160 deaths a day.
Public Health England have just launched a campaign in the North West to make the public aware of what antibiotic resistance can mean for the future and to stress the importance of taking their doctor’s advice about whether antibiotics are required. According to a study by Opinium Research in February 2017 despite the dangers posed by antibiotic resistance, one in four people in the North West (23%) has never heard of the issue. Furthermore, 40% of people in the North West don’t realise that if someone has taken antibiotics in the last year, any infection they get is more likely to be antibiotic resistant.
In conjunction with the campaign, a powerful film has been released by Public Health England (you can watch this below) which highlights the possible consequences of failing to take action on antibiotic resistance – showing a world where treatable common infections, minor injuries and routine operations might kill once again.
The campaign will run in the Granada region on TV, radio, press and will be supported by local GP surgeries and pharmacies, social media and PR. For further information on antibiotic resistance please search NHS Antibiotics or visit nhs.uk/keepantibioticsworking.