Amid threat of resistance, CDC and health officials ask public to mind antibiotic use

Federal and state health officials are asking for the public’s help in raising awareness about antibiotic use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over recent years has recognized a threat to antibiotic resistance, according to a news release from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Nov. 13 through Nov. 19 is “U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week”; led by the CDC, the awareness campaign aims to change the way antibiotics are prescribed.

The CDC suggests patients ask their doctors if tests will be done to make sure the correct antibiotic is prescribed to them; never share or save antibiotics; and never take one if your doctor says you don’t need one.

The CDC reports that the total number of antibiotic prescriptions written in Kansas in 2015 ranks among the highest nationally, at more than 900 per 1,000 individuals statewide.

Nationally, more than one-third of antibiotics used are either unnecessary or do not match the germ, the CDC reports. More than 2 million people in the U.S. get infections that are resistant to antibiotics each year, according to the KDHE news release, and at least 23,000 die as a result.