Time to Get Smart about Antibiotic Prescribing; ECDOH Raises Health Threat of Antibiotic Resistance Fueled by Unnecessary Use

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 From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein

Date: November 12, 2015                            

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925

 Time to Get Smart about Antibiotic Prescribing

ECDOH Raises Health Threat of Antibiotic Resistance Fueled by Unnecessary Use

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Antibiotic resistance, which occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics, is among the most pressing public health threats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”), will observe the eighth annual Get Smart about Antibiotics Week November 16-22 to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use across all health care settings. Logo

“The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world,” stated Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. “Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in medicine. However, up to 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed.”

Antibiotics are also commonly used for promoting growth in food animals, another type of use that is risky and not necessary. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed creates additional health risks as it increases the chance a patient will experience an adverse drug reaction, and also leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which affects everyone in the community.


“Everyone should be concerned about this issue because antibiotic resistance anywhere is antibiotic resistance everywhere,” says Dr. Lauri Hicks, director for CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship. “In order to minimize the impact of antibiotic resistance, it is important that everyone only takes antibiotics prescribed for them, implements proper hand hygiene in their everyday routine, receives recommended vaccinations, and discusses their concerns about antibiotic resistance with their healthcare provider.” 

Get Smart about Antibiotics Week 2015 marks an important year, during which the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria laid out key actions for implementing the National Strategy. Furthermore, a White House Forum was held in June 2015 to discuss the issue of antibiotic stewardship, and heralded widespread and coordinated commitments to combatting antibiotic resistance among a wide variety of stakeholders.

The observance of Get Smart about Antibiotics Week 2015 marks the first annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which coincides with European Antibiotic Awareness Day, Canada Antibiotic Awareness week, and other similar observances across the world to help raise awareness of this important issue.

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For More Information:

Erie County Department of Health

New York State Department of Health  

Center for Disease Control and Prevention