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What does the term Antibiotic Resistance mean? What are the causes and how it can be avoided?

Antibiotics are medicines that fight (or prevent) infections caused by bacteria, certain parasites and some types of fungus. When bacteria are exposed to an antibiotic various things can happen:
– they can be killed.
– they can be weakened or disabled.
– they can remain unaffected, or resistant.

Antibiotics should be taken when needed and not unnecessarily. Antibiotic resistance is becoming one of the world’s major problems. Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a bacteria or other microbes to resist the effects of an antibiotic.

If you take antibiotics that cannot fight the bacteria they are supposed to kill, your infection can last longer. Instead of getting better, your infection might get worse. At the same time, your family members or other people you come into contact with will be exposed to the resistant bacteria you have.

If not recognized until the initial course of antibiotics fails to work, the delay between initial diagnosis and the start of successful treatment can result in unnecessary suffering and a deterioration of the patient’s condition.

CAUSES OF ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

– Antibiotics are meant to treat bacterial infections and not viral infections so do not take antibiotics to treat viral infections.
– Not finishing the full dosage of the antibiotic.
– Availability over-the-counter in many countries.
– Misuse by health professionals.
– Antibiotic application in agriculture, aquaria and family pets.
– Eating raw or undercooked foods.

HOW TO AVOID ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

– Do not demand antibiotics from the physician.
– Complete the full course of antibiotic treatment.
– Wash your hands properly to reduce the chance of getting sick and spreading infection.
– Wash fruits and vegetables, avoid raw eggs and undercooked meat, especially in ground form.
– Discard any left over medication. Do not save it for the next time.
– Do not take antibiotics that have been prescribed for someone else; they may not be appropriate for you.

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