Antibiotic Resistance Part I: Trust Your Doctor

The discovery and use of antibiotics represents one of the greatest human and veterinary medical advances in history. According to a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, at least two million people annually in the U.S. “acquire serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics designed to treat infections, and at least 23,000 people die annually from antibiotic-resistant infections.”

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) survey, almost two-thirds of the 10,000 people surveyed in 12 countries indicated that antibiotic resistance is an issue that could possibly affect them and their families, but weren’t sure how to address the issue to minimize potential risks. The WHO survey found, “…64 percent of respondents believe antibiotics can be used to treat colds and flu, despite the fact that antibiotics have no impact on viruses. Close to one-third of people surveyed believe they should stop taking antibiotics when they feel better, rather than completing the prescribed course of treatment.”

While antibiotic resistance is not cause for a high level of anxiety on a daily basis, the emergence of pathogens that are resistant to multiple antibiotics is something that everyone should respect, understand and respond to appropriately. To help us better understand antibiotic resistance, food blogger Alice Choi (HipFoodieMom) went in search of answers from experts. In part one of this four-part series, she visited with Dr. Pritish Tosh with the Infectious Diseases Division at the Mayo Clinic.

Check out our video series on antibiotic resistance along with these additional resources for antibiotic resistance information:

Antibiotic Resistance Part II: Antibiotic Use in Food Animals

Antibiotic Resistance Part III: Navigating Food Labels

Antibiotic Resistance Part IV: Proper Kitchen Techniques

Mayo Clinic – Antibiotics: Misuse puts you and others at risk

Mayo Clinic – Bacterial vs. viral infections: How do they differ?

The image “Antibiotics” by Michael Mortensen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.