The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance progress detailed in new CDC data map

(RxWiki News) There has been a lot of progress in the battle against antibiotic resistance in the United States, but the fight isn't over yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC recently released an interactive 2017 data map on antibiotic resistance and efforts to combat it. The map showed extensive efforts made to decrease drug resistance in many states, including more than 170 state-reported successes in efforts like containing resistant infections. Other successes last year included implementing new laboratory testing methods and identifying resistance more quickly.

The CDC has been focusing on ways to reduce antibiotic resistance nationwide. In the last two years, the agency has invested over $220 million in health departments and universities to address antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance means bacteria no longer respond to antibiotics that are typically used to kill them. This can lead to difficult-to-treat or untreatable infections. Resistance builds when antibiotics are used, especially when they are used inappropriately. According to the CDC, antibiotics are often prescribed when they're not truly needed or given at incorrect doses or for inappropriate amounts of time.

The following are some ways you can fight antibiotic resistance at home:

  • Keep yourself and others from getting sick. Avoiding getting sick will reduce your need for antibiotics, which helps prevent resistance. You can do this by receiving the recommended vaccines, washing your hands frequently and practicing proper food handling.
  • Only take antibiotics when necessary. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections and do NOT treat viral infections. Antibiotics should not be taken to treat viral infections.
  • Always take prescribed antibiotics as directed. Always finish the full course of antibiotics, even if you start to feel better. This can help keep resistance from developing.

The CDC said it will continue investing in technologies and strategies to reduce antibiotic resistance. You can check on the progress in your state here.

Ask your health care provider any questions you have about preventing antibiotic resistance.