Oxfordshire County Council backs bid to Keep Antibiotics Working

Oxfordshire County Council is supporting Public Health England’s new campaign in the Thames Valley to “Keep antibiotics working”.

As the cold weather sets in across Oxfordshire, people are being warned that taking antibiotics unnecessarily to treat illnesses such as coughs, earache and sore throats may not only work but also puts them at risk of more severe and longer infection in the future.

This campaign urges residents in the Thames Valley to always trust their doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s advice as to when they need antibiotics. If antibiotics are prescribed, take them as directed and never save them for later use or share them with others. The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.

Rising cases of deaths as antibiotics are incorrectly used

There is a significant global health threat with an estimated 5,000 deaths caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections.Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, such as meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses that can get better naturally. Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them, with experts predicting that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said “I am pleased to support Public Health England’s’ ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign in highlighting that taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk. To help keep antibiotics working always take your doctor or nurse’s advice on antibiotics.”

For further information on antibiotics, their uses and the risk of resistance, please search ‘NHS Antibiotics’ online.

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