What Is Antibiotic Resistance?

Antibiotics are medicines that can quickly help to heal some types of infection caused by bacteria, but when they’re used too much or not used the right way, they may not work anymore. This is called “Antibiotic Resistance” – when the bacteria that is causing you to be sick, no longer responds to the antibiotic and you continue to be sick. Antibiotic resistance is a defense mechanism of bacteria that allows them to survive and multiply, even when an antibiotic is present.

Antibiotic Resistance is A World Health Issue

Antibiotic Resistance makes it hard for doctors to help their patients. They can try different kinds of antibiotics, and some may work, but others may not. An infection that should be really easy to treat may not be able to be cured, and may mean that you become even more sick. Bacteria that are not able to be treated with an antibiotic are called “Superbugs.” Superbugs can kill, and can travel quickly between patients, because of dirty hands or equipment.

Download the antibiotic wise checklist
Take the Antibiotic Quiz

What You Can Do

Antibiotic Resistance is a danger to all of us. A simple infection can get worse, or a trip to the hospital can turn from days into weeks. The bacteria are resistant – NOT YOU! Even very healthy people who have never taken antibiotics can become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria from other sources.

One of the most important things you can do is asking your doctor questions. Do I have a bacterial infection or a viral infection, and will antibiotics really help?

Learn more about what you can do to help stop the spread of Antibiotic Resistance!

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