Antimicrobial resistance is a major concern to public health, threatening the progress made in treatment of infectious diseases as well as advances in modern medicine. The use of antimicrobials is strongly linked to the development of resistant bacteria and viruses.
Antibiotic resistance can be prevented by the prudent use of antibiotics and preventing the spread of resistant bacteria between people.
Respiratory infections - particularly earache - are the most common reasons for antibiotic use among children. However, most respiratory infections are caused by a virus which the body's immune system can usually fight without help. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and do not alleviate any of the child's symptoms. Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use when treating respiratory infections in children is an important contributor to preventing resistance.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health created a short animated film to highlight the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics for common respiratory infections.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organization are monitoring the situation closely.
- Antimicrobial resistance - European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- Antimicrobial resistance - World Health Organization