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Vale of York residents asked for help in fight against antibiotic resistance

Vale of York residents are being urged to play an important role in preventing resistance to antibiotics - by not using them when they don’t need to.

Antibiotics are correctly used to treat serious bacterial infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis, and can also ward off infections during chemotherapy, caesarean sections and other surgery.

But they are not effective in treating everyday viral infections such as cold and flu, despite commonly being used for these purposes.

Overusing antibiotics is making infections harder to treat by creating drug-resistant superbugs. In England, it is estimated that up to a fifth (20%) of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary as many illnesses get better on their own.

For infections that the body’s immune system can handle on its own, people are advised to rest, drink plenty of fluids and use pain relief such as paracetamol.

It is estimated that 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections, while experts predict that by 2050 antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

Subsequently Public Health England (PHE) launched its eight-week Keep Antibiotics Working campaign on Monday (23 October) and wants the public to help prevent antibiotic resistance by:

Shaun O’Connell, Joint Medical Director and Clinical Lead for Prescribing at NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The CCG is pleased to support the Keep Antibiotics Working campaign and I would like to remind the people living in the Vale of York that antibiotics are not always needed so always listen your doctor’s advice on when and when not to take them.

“Antibiotic resistance is very concerning and is something we must tackle right now. It’s only natural to want something to help you feel better when you’re unwell but taking antibiotics when you don’t need to puts you and your family at risk of more severe or longer illness.”

Follow the CCG on Twitter @ValeofYorkCCG to learn more about antibiotic resistance, or search ‘NHS antibiotics’ online.

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