Antibiotics are drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics are often taken when they are not needed for colds and flu. This causes the bacteria to become resistant, which means the drugs used to treat bacterial infections no longer work or can take longer to work. Almost all common bacterial infections in the U.S. and worldwide are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Resistant bacteria can cause serious illness and may be spread from one person to another.
To address this growing public health threat the Virginia Department of Health is partnering with community and professional organizations around the state to increase awareness for the growing resistance to antibiotic medications.
The campaign's key messages are:
• Antibiotics are not effective in treating viral infections like colds, flu and bronchitis.
• Antibiotics should be taken exactly as prescribed and only when prescribed by a physician.
Taking antibiotics inappropriately does more harm than good and promotes bacterial resistance. Resistant bacteria can stay in your body or spread to others in your family and community. They can cause severe illnesses that are difficult and expensive to treat.
Antibiotic Resistance: A Community Problem (power point)
Virginia Department of Health
Office of Epidemiology
109 Governor Street, Suite 516 East
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: 804-864-8141 - Fax: 804-864-8139