Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is both alarming and irreversible, similar to global warming, experts have warned.
Antibiotic resistance is a complex global public health issue, the Department Of Health have warned.
Mis-use of antibiotics is causing bacteria to become resistant - medics have warned.
Some antibiotics aren’t as effective as they used to be because the bacteria they are designed to tackle have become resistant to them.
These important medicines need to be used wisely to maximise the NHS’s ability to treat infections in the future.
The increase in antibiotic resistance is a major concern that needs action at a global level, experts are warning.
The Department of Health have published new guidance on the use of antibiotics in hospitals ahead of European Antibiotics Awareness Day on Sunday.
Patients have been urged not to request antibiotics for coughs and colds due to an increasing resistance to treatments in the population.
A new leaflet has been designed so patients have a better understanding of common ailments, and the length of time that they last, so they are less likely to demand antibiotics when they visit the doctor.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are important medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic.
They become ‘antibiotic resistant’, meaning that the antibiotic no longer works.
The more often we use an antibiotic, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it.
Some bacteria that cause infections in hospitals, such as MRSA, are resistant to several antibiotics.