Antibiotics are often used to treat infections but they aren’t always the answer.
Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world and threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases. Infections affecting people – including pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and gonorrhoea – and animals alike are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective.
Antibiotics are often overprescribed by physicians and veterinarians and overused by the public. Where they can be bought for human or animal use without a prescription, the emergence and spread of resistance is made worse. Examples of misuse include taking antibiotics for viral infections like colds and flu, and using them as animal growth promoters on farms or in aquaculture.