Each year, 2.8 million Americans develop an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection, leading to an estimated 35,000 deaths annually.
Almost half (45 percent) of the people surveyed said they had personally not followed their doctor’s instructions regarding the taking of antibiotics.
The finding is “concerning,” write the authors of the study, given the role that unnecessary antibiotics are playing in the development of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.”
Most of the inappropriate antibiotics were given to patients for viral and other conditions that don’t respond to antibiotics, such as colds, chest infections and cough.
Acute respiratory illnesses — such as common colds, the flu and bronchitis — are the main source of the inappropriate prescriptions, which can lead to deadly, antibiotic-resistant infections.
The global rise in infections resistant to antibiotics is considered one of the most urgent global threats to human health.
Some hospitals now test individual patients daily to determine when to stop antibiotic treatment.
The study’s findings also underscore how antibiotics continue to be overprescribed by physicians, a practice that is contributing to the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
One of the more intriguing efforts to find new antibiotics has to be the AncientBiotics project.
Osterholm: “We have to understand that, because of our lack of taking on these issues now, we’re transferring the very serious outcomes that will occur to our kids and grandkids.”
In his new book, “Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs,” Osterholm and his co-author, Mark Olshaker, describe — sometimes in frightening detail — just how vulnerable we are.
The agency said manufacturers had failed to prove such products — which have been on the market for more than 50 years — were either effective at preventing infections or safe to use.
Most of those unneeded prescriptions are being given for viral and other conditions that don’t respond to antibiotics, such as colds, flu and most coughs, sore throats, stuffy noses and ear infections.
In the United States, more than 2 million people develop antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and a stunningly high number — 23,000 — die as a result. Children are the most vulnerable.
This week, as part of a new initiative, the magazine published the first of a three-part investigative series on the antibiotic crisis.
The overprescribing of antibiotics has been a significant contributor to the emergence of potentially antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Two UCLA doctors and a medical student point out that hands are major vectors of infection and that Americans would be wise to consider other forms of greeting and bidding farewell.