Antibiotic (drug) resistance is the term used when medication no longer works on germs that cause infections and disease.
Although some people are at greater risk than others, no one can completely avoid the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections. Infections with resistant germs are difficult to treat, requiring costly and sometimes toxic treatments.
How Resistance Happens and Spreads
The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Simply using antibiotics creates resistance. These drugs should only be used to manage infections.
Antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings is a significant threat to public health. Because almost all Americans will receive care in a medical setting at some point, antibiotic resistance can affect anyone. By preventing antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings, patients’ lives are better protected and their health can be preserved.
Antibiotic-resistant infections can happen anywhere. Data show that most happen in the general community; however, most deaths related to antibiotic resistance happen in inpatient healthcare settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has additional information available on their website.
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