Medical experts believe the overuse of antibiotics has led to the resistance of bacteria. Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess II says medical practices used a long time ago may be contributing to this theory as physicians were instructed to prescribe antibiotics for any infection, including viruses.
“People would be given an antibiotic and they’d only take it for a few days because the virus would get better on its own and then they’d be left with just a few days of treatment with an antibiotic which would lead to resistant bacteria building up in the body. Now we’re seeing more and more bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics,” stated Dr. VanNess.
Preventing infection is important and includes something simple like regular hand washing.
An antibiotic-resistant infection can also be acquired from others, including health care professionals. VanNess explained that those situations occur in those that have a weak immune system or have other medical issues that make them susceptible to infections.
“And they would get the infection while they were in the hospital and really prolong their hospital stay and require the use of sometimes one or two or three very strong antibiotics to treat the bacteria that had built up resistance to the normal antibiotic.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working hard to track antibiotic-resistant infections, to develop new antibiotics, and to test and detect resistance and better education for doctors and others to avoid antibiotic overuse.