Do your bit to keep antibiotics working

It’s that time of year when the weather is getting colder and we may be more susceptible to colds and other bugs going around.

Local Authority and NHS partners across Coventry and Warwickshire have been working together to help tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance, and have launching a “Keep Antibiotics Working” campaign – reminding people that we need to save antibiotics for when they are really needed.

Antibiotics are essential to treat bacterial infections, but they do not work on viruses, so antibiotics cannot treat infections such as colds and flu.

Taking antibiotics when they may not be needed, encourages harmful bacteria that live inside us to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when we really need them.

There are some key things that we can all do to keep our antibiotics working:

  • Prevent infections and stop them spreading by:
    • checking you and your family have had all your immunisations
    • washing your hands regularly with soap and water (especially before eating, after going to the toilet, and after coughing/sneezing)
    • catching coughs/sneezes in a tissue (and binning it)
  • Remember, cold/flu viruses and stomach viruses, like norovirus, can’t be treated with antibiotics – they usually get better with rest, fluids and over-the-counter remedies. See here for more information, including when and where to seek advice
  • Only take antibiotics when you need them, when advised by your GP. Find out more about when antibiotics are needed here
  • Always take your healthcare professional’s advice on antibiotics
  • Always take the full course of any antibiotics you are prescribed and never share with others.

For more information, and for ways to help the fight against antibiotic resistance, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/antibiotics/


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