Fortunately, there are things we can all do. The attitude we take to antibiotics is crucial in terms of whether or not the coming generations will have access to effective antibiotics. Here are five tips to help – please share them.
Don’t use antibiotics unnecessarily
We need antibiotics so that we can treat severe infections caused by bacteria. Minor infections in humans and animals will almost always clear up without help. And many common infections, such as colds, are caused by viruses. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses. If you are worried about an infection, contact 1177 Vårdguiden (Healthcare Guide – tel: 1177) or a vet for advice. Talk to your doctor, dentist or vet about whether antibiotics will be able to help.
Don’t use leftover antibiotics
Although different infections may have similar symptoms, they may not necessarily require the same treatment. So never use leftover antibiotics. And don’t give them to anyone else or an animal either.
Take leftover antibiotics to the pharmacy
Never flush leftover antibiotics down the toilet or throw them away with your rubbish. Take any antibiotics or other leftover medicines to the pharmacy. By doing so you will be helping to make sure they are not released into the environment.
Protect yourself and other people from infections
Preventing the occurrence and spread of infection will help ensure that fewer people need to be treated with antibiotics. Actions you can take include washing your hands when necessary and adhering to vaccination programmes.
1. Wash your hands
Many bacteria and viruses are spread via our hands, and having clean hands is an effective way to stop the spread of infection. It takes about 30 seconds to wash your hands with soap and water. Washing your hands is especially important at three particular times:
- After you’ve been to the toilet.
- Before and after preparing food, particularly when handling raw meat or chicken.
- Before eating.
It is also advisable to wash your hands before and after any visit to a farm, riding school, zoo or anywhere else you can pet animals.
2. Adhere to vaccination programmes
Vaccinations help to prevent illnesses caused by bacteria or viruses. One example of a disease-causing bacteria is pneumococcus, which can cause pneumonia and sinusitis. Viral infections, such as flu and measles, cannot be cured with antibiotics. They may, however, lead to other infections that need to be treated with antibiotics. Adhering to vaccination programmes means there is less risk of you falling ill and needing antibiotics.
The more we follow this advice, the greater the chances of being able to curb the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Please tell your family and friends about the campaign and share our information.