Public Health in Knowsley is supporting a campaign telling people that antibiotics don’t work for everything.
The campaign will stress the importance of taking a doctor’s advice about whether antibiotics are needed. Taking antibiotics unnecessarily causes dangerous bacteria to become resistant which means they may not work when they are really needed.
It is estimated that 5,000 people die each year in England as a result of antibiotics no longer working for some infections – that’s 13 people every day. In around 30 years we could see 60,000 people die every year because antibiotics have stopped helping them – that’s around 160 deaths a day.
However, despite the dangers posed by antibiotic resistance, one in four people in the North West (23%) has never heard of the issue. Furthermore, 40% of people in the North West don’t realise that if someone has taken antibiotics in the last year, any infection they get is more likely to be antibiotic resistant. They can also pass on antibiotic resistant bacteria to loved ones.
Antibiotics are an important tool for doctors and healthcare professionals to help treat serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, meningococcal meningitis and sepsis and to help ward off infections during chemotherapy, caesarean sections and other surgery. However, antibiotics are being used for everyday viral infections, such as colds or flu, where they are not effective.