This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will raise awareness and understanding of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescription and use with the observance of U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week.
Did you know antibiotic resistance causes at least 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the United States?1 And, the use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance. In fact, antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs today. However, up to 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed.1
The goal of this week is to help educate and ensure antibiotics are used only when necessary and only when prescribed by a health professional. This week also serves as a reminder for all of us to take preventive measures, like the practice of hand hygiene and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces to help prevent the spread of infection, so the need for considering antibiotics is reduced. Hand hygiene, both handwashing and hand sanitizing, and surface disinfecting are simple, yet critical components to reducing sickness that can lead to antibiotic use.
Together, let’s raise awareness and help educate others about the growing problem of the overuse of antibiotics and the needed solutions for antibiotic stewardship. At GOJO, we have pledged our long-term support to promote antibiotic stewardship and reduce antibiotic resistance. And, I encourage you to learn more about this issue; the CDC has provided a wealth of information on its website.