Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk. That’s the message during World Antibiotics Week, 18 – 24 November, when we’re warned against the over-use of antibiotics – a message which is more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s important to remember that antibiotics do not work on viral infections such as COVID-19 or coughs, colds and flu.
The flu vaccine is the best way to protect you and your family from flu. Your GP or pharmacist will be able to advise if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19; a new continuous cough, a high temperature or loss or change to sense of smell or taste, you should stay at home and book a test through www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by ringing 119.
It’s really important that you stay at home until you have your test result – you could be unknowingly spreading the virus if you don’t stay at home.
Help antibiotic resistance
Antibiotics are essential to treat bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis.
The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign reminds you that taking antibiotics when you don’t need them encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.
It’s important that, when it comes to antibiotics, you always take your doctor, nurse or healthcare professional’s advice.
For further information on antibiotic resistance visit the NHS website.