WHO Warns: Widespread Antibiotic Use During Covid Fueled Antimicrobial Resistance

Health | April 28, 2024, Sunday // 09:06|  views

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) underscores concerns over the global surge in antibiotic usage during the Covid-19 pandemic, potentially exacerbating the silent threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Despite only 8 percent of hospitalized Covid-19 patients presenting with bacterial infections requiring antibiotics, a staggering 75 percent received these medications as a precautionary measure. This "just in case" approach to treatment, while well-intentioned, may inadvertently contribute to the proliferation of antimicrobial resistance.

Contrary to expectations, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics did not yield improved clinical outcomes for Covid-19 patients. Instead, it poses risks to individuals without bacterial infections, highlighting the urgent need for judicious antibiotic prescribing practices to mitigate adverse effects on both patients and public health.

Dr. Yukiko Nakatani, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance, underscores the imperative of enhancing antibiotic prescribing practices globally in light of these findings. The pressing issues surrounding antimicrobial resistance are slated for discussion at the UN General Assembly's high-level meeting on the topic in September.

The WHO's admonition serves as a stark reminder of the collateral threats posed by indiscriminate antibiotic use. Moving forward, concerted efforts are warranted to safeguard the efficacy of antibiotics and preserve their effectiveness for future generations.

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Tags: WHO, antibiotic, COVID-19, resistance


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