Why You Should Be Concerned about Antibiotic Resistance

Why You Should Be Concerned about Antibiotic Resistance

Thanks to the discovery of penicillin by scientist Alexander Fleming back in the 1920's, the world has become a healthier and more populous place. Antibiotics revolutionized health care and greatly reduced the death toll from a number of infectious diseases. Once developed from fungus, antibiotics are now created in laboratories from a number of synthetic materials. Antibiotics reputation as a miracle cure has created a problem that is becoming more commonplace - antibiotic resistance.

Defining Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a huge cause for concern in the medical community. Bacteria and other microscopic organisms that are often treated by antibiotics are showing resistance against antibiotics. These bacteria are adapting and changing their biological make-up which in turn reduces the effectiveness of any drug used to treat or prevent infections. Some bacteria are thriving again and multiplying due to this antibiotic resistance.

What Antibiotic Resistance Means to You

Just like infection can quickly spread from one person to another, these new bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics can also be spread. That means, more and more people will get sick and antibiotics will not help them. This lowered response to antibiotics has doctors all over the world worried and scientists are trying to develop new drugs to combat the problem.

Even the most common infections, normally easily cured by antibiotics, can now become a problem with infants, children and adults. Once, it was believed that a person's body developed a resistance to certain medications but now we all know that it is the bacteria and other microbes that are adapting and changing. The result of the antibiotic resistance is that you can expect to get sick and take longer to recover and you will pass that infection to others as well.

The Reason for Antibiotic Resistance

Improper use of antibiotics over the years is one of the primary reasons why the world is seeing a resistance now. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, not fungal or viral infections. However, many people insisted that doctors prescribe the antibiotics to them anyway. When antibiotics are ingested, they kill bacteria but other germs that are resistant to the drugs can multiply.

Preventing this Antibiotic Resistance

Using antibiotics properly is the best way to fight this uphill battle against antibiotic resistance. Talk with your doctor if you are sick to determine whether bacterial infection is the problem. If it is viral or fungal, seek alternative treatments to ease your symptoms. If you do indeed have a bacterial infection, take the medication as described and take the full course of the drug. Do not save any of the antibiotics for the next time you are sick. As with any other drug, antibiotics do have a certain time span when they are most effective. If you take outdated antibiotics, you could make yourself even sicker.

Staying healthy is the best recourse against antibiotics resistance. Eat a good diet, take your vitamin supplements and practice good hygiene to avoid becoming ill enough for antibiotics or some other drug.

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