TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is joining agencies and organizations nationwide in observing U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, which runs November 18-24, 2021. The week is intended to educate the public about proper antibiotic use and the prevention of antibiotic-resistant infections.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which spearheads U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, up to one-half of antibiotic use is either unnecessary or inappropriate. This creates additional health risks by increasing the chances that a patient will experience adverse drug reactions.
“Antibiotics are powerful medicines used to combat life-threatening bacterial diseases, but overuse leads to an immunity against these drugs and poses significant public health threats,” Commissioner Persichilli said. “That is why we urge patients to take every precaution to reduce the chances of developing antibiotic-resistant infections.”
More than 2.8 million people in the United States get infections that are resistant to antibiotics annually, and at least 35,000 people die as a result, according to the CDC.
Antibiotic overuse increases the development of drug-resistant germs and drives up the cost and complexity of treating simple infections. As a result, bacteria stop responding to drugs designed to kill them, increasing the risk of serious illness and death when these infections cannot be treated.
To minimize the impact of antibiotic resistance, individuals should:
- Only take antibiotics prescribed to them, and take them as recommended;
- Implement proper hand hygiene as part of a daily routine and receive recommended vaccinations to prevent infections that might require antibiotic treatment;
- Discuss concerns about antibiotic resistance with their healthcare provider.
To help spread awareness of U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, repost social media messages about Be Antibiotics Aware. Visit @CDCgov, @CDC_AR, @CDC_NCEZID and @NJDeptofHealth on Twitter. NJDOH will also be using the following hashtags throughout the week: #NJAntibioticsAware, #BeAntibioticsAware and #HealthyNJ.
For more information about U.S. Antibiotics Awareness Week, visit https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/week/index.html.
Education materials about antibiotic awareness, including resources for patients, parents, and schools, teachers and athletes can be found on NJDOH’s website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/njantibioticsaware.shtml.
Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and Snapchat @njdoh.