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  • Writer's pictureEnid Gonzalez-Orta

Why Should We Care about Antibiotic Resistance? by Brianna P.

Brianna working in the lab

Antibiotics are such an important aspect of our lives that many people may not even realize. In our normal, everyday lives, if we aren't feeling very well, we often go to the doctors and if it’s a common infection caused by a bacteria then your doctor would most likely prescribe an antibiotic. What if there are none available because the only known antibiotics for your infection were no longer effective? With the rise of antibiotic resistance in the last 60 years, common treatable infections caused by bacteria are becoming harder and harder to treat (Davies, 2010). Why is this a problem? Bacterial infections that are no longer treatable with antibiotics can lead to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality (WHO, 2020). If there are no antibiotics that are effective for an infection, then the longer a patient will have to stay in the hospital, and they will end up having a staggering hospital bill to look forward to if and when they leave the hospital.

The misuse and overuse of antibiotics have allowed for the accelerated emergence of resistant bacteria (Ballesté, 2018). We have heard from doctors to take antibiotics for the prescribed amount of time and that is because even if your symptoms are no longer showing, the bacteria that are causing your illness may still be present in your body. Which is why it is so important to finish taking medication the prescribed amount of time, it reduces the risk of your infection coming back but also the risk of any remaining bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotic. The more this crisis continues the more we must become aware of antibiotic resistance. To combat this crisis, antibiotic stewardship can be practiced which measures and improve how antibiotics are being prescribed by clinicians and used by patients (CDC, 2021). Practicing antibiotic stewardship is one way we can combat this issue but its not the only way. Even by just educating yourself and by taking your medications for the prescribed number of days can help in prolonging the rise of antibiotic resistance.


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