Bringing Global Awareness to Antibiotic Resistance and Importance of Hygiene

Know the Facts About Antibiotics

Jim Arbogast


By Jim Arbogast, Ph.D.

Hygiene Sciences and Public Health Advancements Vice President, GOJO Industries

In observance of Antibiotic Awareness Week taking place from November 12-18, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will raise awareness and understanding to the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use among the public, health workers, and policy makers.

Did you know antibiotic resistance causes at least 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the United States?1 Since their discovery, antibiotics have served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. However, the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal health have encouraged the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance, which occurs when microbes, such as bacteria, become resistant to the drugs used to treat them.2

Antibiotics save lives and, when a patient needs them, the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects and antibiotic resistance.3 They should, however, only be used when necessary for treating bacterial infections and after a health professional prescribes them. While antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs today, at least 30% of antibiotics in U.S. primary care settings are prescribed unnecessarily.1

This week aims for us to take preventive measures to help reduce the need for antibiotic use in the future. It is a good reminder to do our best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning our hands, covering our coughs, staying home when we are sick, and getting recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.4

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. We encourage you to also get involved by participating in the following:

  • Webinar: On Tuesday, November 13 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, join the CDC for a webinar entitled, “5 Ways Pharmacists Can Be Antibiotics Aware.” 
  • Twitter: On Thursday, November 15 at 9:00 a.m. EDT, join a Global Twitter Storm against antibiotic resistance by posting the following tweet and hashtag from WHO: “Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent global health threats. Everyone has a role to play in improving antibiotic use to help fight #AntibioticResistance.”
  • Follow @CDCgov and @WHO on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and share their posts during the week.

Learn more about antibiotic resistance with materials, articles, messaging, guides, and updates from the CDC and the WHO.

1. Get Involved in Antibiotic Awareness Week, https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/week/get-involved.html
2. WHO World Antibiotic Awareness Week Campaign, http://www.who.int/who-campaigns/world-antibiotic-awareness-week
3. About Antibiotic Prescribing and Use, https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/about/index.html
4. Be Antibiotics Aware Partner Toolkit: Article Targeting Patients/Families, https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/week/toolkit.html

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