Antibiotics are important and really help when we need them
Most infections are caused by two main kinds of germs: bacteria and viruses.
- Antibiotics cure infections caused by bacteria; but they have no effect against infections caused by viruses, like a cold or the flu.
- Taking antibiotics for a cold or the flu is unnecessary and expensive.
Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can be harmful
It can also cause a serious problem – antibiotic resistance – which means these drugs are less effective when they are really needed.
We all have a role to play in preventing this. Patients, healthcare providers, hospital administrators, industry, policy makers and the general public can work together to promote appropriate antibiotic use – ultimately saving lives.
AWARE is the Oregon Alliance Working for Antibiotic Resistance Education.