Stop using antibiotics on healthy animals - World Health Organization weighs in on resistance debate

The week of November 13-19 is U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, and members of Virginia's health care community, including the Virginia Department of Health, the Medical Society of Virginia, Health Quality Innovators, and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association are jointly supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Be Antibiotics Aware campaign. This occurs when bacteria doesn't respond to the drugs created to kill them and it is one of the most urgent threats to the public's health.

While, antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to survive treatment with antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance is the general term for drug resistance of microbes.

Councillor Sweet added: "In addition, people take antibiotics for mild infections when they don't need to".

"Action to manage antibiotic use and control AMR in one sector must go hand-in-hand with enforcement of regulations in and collaboration with other sectors".

"I'd urge healthcare professionals and residents to make the pledge and become an antibiotic guardian, and for people to think twice about taking antibiotics unless they have specifically been prescribed them by their GP".

Imperial staff and students will have an opportunity to hand over any unused antibiotics this week as part of an annual amnesty.

"Being "antibiotics aware" means learning the facts about antibiotics, talking with your health care provider and, when necessary, taking them exactly as prescribed", said Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa J. Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP.

Alternative options to using antibiotics for disease prevention in animals include improving hygiene, better use of vaccination, and changes in animal housing and husbandry practices. This not only ensures you and your family get the best treatment, responsible use of antibiotics will also help reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance.

Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Programme Life Healthcare has been active in Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) for a number of years.

"However, it has been also highlighted that up to 50 per cent of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed".

The National Chicken Council also took issue with the World Health Organization news release - particularly the claim that "80% of total consumption of medically important antibiotics is in the animal sector, largely for growth promotion in healthy animals", which an NCC spokesperson called "grossly inflated". The Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance has been developed and was endorsed by all countries to address this threat by involving various sectors, such as the agriculture, public health, environmental and other relevant sectors.

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