Winter is here and the weather is grim, it's the time of the year when many of us succumb to a bug.
But the NHS has issued Aylesbury Vale residents with guidance over the dangers of not using antibiotics responsibly.
Antibiotics are used to treat, or prevent, some types of bacterial infection by killing the bacteria or preventing them from spreading further. Viral infections such as colds and the flu, which are common at this time of year, cannot be treated with antibiotics.
An NHS spokesman said: “In most cases, your body can fight mild bacterial infections without the need for antibiotics. The common cold and flu are both viral infections and should not be treated by a course of antibiotics.
“If you, or a member of your family, are feeling unwell this winter then please speak to your local community pharmacist or call NHS 111, the illness could be treated by over-the-counter medicine.”
Through misusing and overusing antibiotics, the bacteria that causes infections can become resistant causing what is commonly known as “Superbugs”. Superbugs are resistant to many types of antibiotics and are therefore very difficult to treat, potentially resulting in life-threatening complications.
The spokesman added: “Its vital antibiotics are only used in the right way and as prescribed by a health care professional. Everyone has a part to play in reducing the rate of antibiotic resistance seen in the UK and that starts with not expecting your GP to prescribe antibiotics for a viral infection.
“In fact, the number of cases of antibiotic resistant infections in the blood of patients in England rose by 25% between 2013 and 2017, a further increase could be detrimental to the future treatment of bacterial infections.”
If you are prescribed antibiotics by a healthcare professional please follow the below instructions to help fight antibiotic resistance and aid your own recovery:
· >Take them as directed
· > Complete the full treatment course, even if you are feeling better
· > Never share antibiotics with others
· >Never use leftover prescriptions
To find out more about antibiotics, please visit: www.nhs.uk/antibiotics, or visit: antibioticguardian.com if you would like to join the fight against antibiotic resistance by becoming an Antibiotic Guardian.
For more information on staying well this winter, please visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell.