Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, both in the United States and across the world. The main driving factors behind antibiotic resistance are the overuse and misuse of antibiotics.
The map to the left is an interactive Patient Safety Atlas, which shows state-level antibiotic prescribing in 2014, per IMS Xponent data. You can learn more about when antibiotics are, and are not, needed for common infections, as well as the potential harms of over-using and misusing antibiotics on this page and at CDC US Antibiotic Awareness Week.
Common infections, whether caused by bacteria or viruses, are often painful and can get in the way of our well-being and everyday lives. Many infections do not require antibiotics, but there are other actions you can take to lessen symptoms.
While antibiotics cannot treat infections caused by viruses, there are still a number of things you or your child can do to relieve some symptoms and feel better while a viral illness runs its course. Over-the-counter medicines may also help relieve some symptoms. See these CDC tips for symptom relief HERE.
The annual US Antibiotic Awareness Week is a key component of CDC efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship in communities, in healthcare facilities, and on the farm in collaboration with state-based programs, nonprofit partners, and for-profit partners. The one week observance raises awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.
Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection
On September 18, 2014, the White House announced an Executive Order stating that the federal government will work domestically and internationally to detect, prevent, and control illness and death related to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and help ensure the contiued availability of effective therapeutics for treatment of bacterial infections.
You can participate in Get Smart About Antibiotics Week events, or host your own. CDC Get Smart: Know Antibiotics Work program has developed a guidance document to assist you with implementing activities and events.