U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, November 18-24 this year, is an annual one-week observance to raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic use to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising patients and their families to use antibiotics only when necessary to further reduce antibiotic resistance, the spread of superbugs, and protect patients from side effects from antibiotics. During U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week and beyond, CDC promotes Be Antibiotics Aware, an educational effort to raise awareness about the importance of safe antibiotic use.
The Be Antibiotics Aware initiative educates the public about when antibiotics are needed, when they are not, how to take antibiotics appropriately, and potential side effects of antibiotics.
CDC encourages patients and families to:
- Get the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do NOT work on viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu, or COVID-19. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still cause harm.
- Ask your healthcare professional about the most appropriate treatment for you or your loved ones’ illness. If antibiotics are not needed, ask about the best way to feel better while your body fights off the virus.
- If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
More information and education educational resources about Be Antibiotics Aware can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/index.html and https://idph.iowa.gov/hai-prevention/stewardship.