RIDOH Issues Reminder About Proper Use of Antibiotics

Reminder comes amid national education efforts during Antibiotic Awareness Week

 

As a part of on-going efforts to prevent the proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is reminding Rhode Islanders about the importance of using antibiotics properly. People should only use antibiotics when it is necessary, and antibiotics should be used exactly as they are prescribed.

 

Antibiotics save lives, but any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and can lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent public health threats in the U.S. today. Antibiotic resistance does not mean the body is becoming resistant to antibiotics; it means bacteria develop the ability to defeat the antibiotics designed to kill them. When bacteria become resistant, antibiotics cannot fight them, and the bacteria multiply. Some resistant bacteria can be hard or impossible to treat and can spread to other people.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result.

 

“When someone takes the time out of their day to go to the doctor, they want to walk out with a prescription that is going to make them feel better. But antibiotics are not always the answer,” said Interim Director of Health Utpala Bandy, MD, MPH. “In fact, they can sometimes make things even worse. By taking antibiotics when not appropriate, people put themselves at risk for serious side effects while also undermining our ability to use antibiotics as a life-saving tool for future generations.”

 

Public health officials throughout the country and worldwide are taking similar measures to educate the public this week, during Antibiotic Awareness Week November 18-24.

 

CDC and RIDOH encourage patients and families to:

 

  • Get the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as those that cause COVID-19, RSV, colds, flu, bronchitis, or runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow, or green.
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about alternatives to antibiotics.
  • While your body fights off a virus, pain relievers, fever reducers, saline nasal spray or drops, warm compresses, liquids, and rest can help you feel better.
  • If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
  • Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by washing hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and getting recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.
  • Do not share prescription medications.

 

In addition to these action steps, talk with your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects from an antibiotic. Common side effects of antibiotics can include rash, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, or yeast infections. It particularly important to talk to a healthcare provider if you experience severe diarrhea after taking an antibiotic. Severe diarrhea could be an indication of Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile or C. diff) infection, which needs to be treated. November is also C. Diff Awareness Month.

 

In addition to the impact on patient health, C. diff rates have a financial impact on hospitals under Medicare’s Healthcare-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction and Value-Based Purchasing Programs. To help reduce these healthcare-acquired infections, RIDOH’s Antimicrobial Stewardship and Environmental Cleaning Task Force has developed the CDI Playbook for Rhode Island healthcare providers and facilities.

 

More information and videos can be found at health.ri.gov/antibiotics and cdc.gov/antibiotic-use.

 

Remember Bid on the Phone but watch here:  LIVE on O-N TV

The House is moving to block a nationwide rail strike that could deal a major blow to the economy. The chamber passed the resolution in a 290-137 vote, sending it to the Senate for consideration ahead of the December 9th strike deadline. President Biden on Monday called on Congress to force a deal through, saying a strike would have disastrous consequences.       Parts of the Southeast are feeling the effects of severe storms and tornadoes that hit the region Tuesday and early Wednesday. At least two people, a woman and child, were killed in Alabama after a tree fell on their mobile home. More than two dozen tornado reports have been made since Tuesday afternoon, including in places like Mississippi and Louisiana.        President Biden is set to greet the Prince and Princess of Wales this week. On Wednesday, the White House announced they'll cross paths during a fundraiser in Boston on Friday. The Royal Couple is visiting to promote their climate change initiative known as The Earthshot Prize.        A group of Republican senators are calling for an end to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the military. Republican Senators Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Rick Scott and others said they won't vote for an annual defense spending bill unless there's a vote to end the vaccine mandate. Paul of Kentucky said the policy is forcing servicemembers to choose between their medical autonomy and their career.        The first trailer is being released for the upcoming thriller "Cocaine Bear." The film follows a bear on a murderous rampage after it encounters pounds of cocaine in the wild. The movie is based off a true story, minus the murderous rampage, when a drug smuggler offloaded a duffel bag of the drug in the Georgia wilderness and a bear ingested it resulting in an overdose.        Former Nebraska interim head football coach Mickey Joseph was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of strangulation and third degree domestic assault. He was booked into the Lancaster County Jail after the Lincoln Police Department dispatched officers to a residence for a domestic disturbance call. Joseph was placed on administrative leave by athletic director Trev Alberts following the incident.