Antibiotic resistance is a massive problem. Patients in hospitals are increasingly being diagnosed with infections tough to treat with drugs that used to be the go to medications. And it’s not just in the hospitals. Increasingly a cut or scrape may end up infected with MRSA. The fault lies in many places, but what’s clear is that we’ve overused antibiotics and now we’re paying the price. Here are some steps you can take to fight antibiotic resistance.
Buy Antibiotic-Free Meat and Dairy
One of the major sources of antibiotic resistance has been the livestock industry, who use antibiotics to bulk up their animals and “prevent” infections, something never done with human use. They use so much, in fact, that 80% of antibiotics are actually used for animals, not humans. This generates drug-resistant bugs that end up in our environment, potentially causing serious infection. Buying from companies that don’t use antibiotics to raise their animals discourages companies from using these practices.
Ask Your Doctor If You Really Need Antibiotics
Doctor Google can sometimes send us to the doctor certain we have Strep throat when we really just have a viral cold. The problem is, viruses can’t be treated with antibiotics. If you go in asking for an antibiotic, you doctor might decide just to give you one even if you don't have a bacterial infection. Before you leave with a prescription, ask your doctor if they really think it’s going to help. If it’s not, then don’t take it. If you do need them, ask for the shortest course.