Latest data from Public Health England shows there were an estimated 61,000 antibiotic resistant infections in 2018 – that’s 165 a day. Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. This means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.
Infections such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) or skin infections that don’t respond to an antibiotic, have the potential to cause serious complications, including bloodstream infections and hospitalisation.
Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. They also help to protect people that are vulnerable to infections from other health conditions, helping ward off infections during chemotherapy, caesarean sections and other surgeries. However, they are frequently being used to treat illnesses like coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves.
The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign returns to alert the public to the risks of antibiotic resistance, urging them to always take their doctor, nurse or healthcare professional’s advice on antibiotics. The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.
For further information on antibiotic resistance visit nhs.uk/antibiotics