A geriatrician says the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report warning that some germs could cause fatalities as people become resistant to antibiotics should encourage patients and medical professionals to consider the dangers of overusing antibiotics.
“We have come to rely on antibiotics to treat anything from minor ailments to much more serious problems,” said Gisele Wolf-Klein, MD, director of geriatric education for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “Unfortunately, by over-utilizing those antibiotics, we have created resistance and that is going to be a major challenge for the next generation. … We’re constantly running the race of developing new antibiotics for the new bacterias, the new infectious germs that are developing. We are counting on our pharmaceutical colleagues to develop the new medications in the hope we will keep winning the race.”
Dr. Wolf-Klein said antibiotics should not be used unless absolutely necessary to try to prevent resistance. The WHO advises people to take the full dosage of their antibiotic prescription to help prevent antibiotic resistance. And, the group says, monitoring personal hygiene and receiving vaccinations in a timely fashion can help deter the spread of infections.