Healthcare systems and individuals place all their trust in antimicrobials to treat diseases efficiently. But what happens when they stop working?
In most cases, this situation can lead to serious cost overrun in treating conditions, which until now, were easy to eliminate. It can take longer to recover from such diseases and may become necessary to use stronger or more expensive medications to eliminate the agents causing the condition.
Antimicrobial resistance is a mutation in of a microorganism (virus, bacteria, fungus or parasite) that makes it immune to the effects of drugs, allowing for infections to last longer in the body. This condition can affect anybody, regardless of age or lifestyle
According to the World Health Organization, this is a natural phenomenon that is unrelated to other conditions and that has increased due to the poor use and abuse of antibiotics or antivirals. In many places, these types of medicines are administered without medical supervision or are used in unnecessary situations, such as with treating the common cold.
It is possible to reduce the use of these treatments if the infectious disease becomes more rigorously controlled by maintaining healthy sanitary conditions and by caring for animals properly.
WHO recommendations for preventing and controlling antimicrobial resistance:
- Only take antibiotics or antivirals when prescribed by a medical professional.
- Do not demand these medicines if the trained professional does not deem them necessary.
- Always follow your physician’s indications with regard to use (dosage, frequency, schedule, etc.)
- Do not use others’ leftover antibiotics.
- Prevent infection by washing your hands, avoiding contact with people that are sick and by keeping your vaccinations current.