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Healthcare Worker Knowledge about Antibiotics is Insufficient

Healthcare Worker Knowledge about Antibiotics is Insufficient

Wednesday, 20 November, 2019 - 06:15
Nurses holding babies at the Xiyuege Centre in Beijing. AFP file photo

A new study revealed that overall knowledge of antibiotic is generally high among European healthcare workers; however, it also illustrates important knowledge gaps.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) carried out a survey in 30 European countries involving over 18000 healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists, the German News Agency reported.

Half of the participants work at hospitals, while fifth of them work in primary healthcare or social care.

Almost all the participants (approximately 97 percent) answered correctly, saying antibiotics aren't effective against flu and cold, while around 50 percent of regular people thought it is, reported the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The survey also showed that 75 percent believe there is an association between the antibiotic therapy and an increased risk of antibiotic resistance infection.

For her part, ECDC Director Andrea Ammon said: "Healthcare professionals play a fundamental role in tackling antibiotic resistance. We need to make sure that their knowledge about the prevention and emergence of this threat is up-to-date."

The agency is one of many that have warned in recent years of the risk of overuse of antibiotics. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, drug-resistant bacteria kill an estimated 33,000 people in Europe every year.

Drug-resistant bacteria and fungi kill more than 35,000 people in the United States each year, health officials said.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in its first report since 2013 that at least 8.2 million people develop antibiotic-resistant infections each year.

According to the report, "antibiotic resistance and the ability of bacteria to defeat drugs intended to kill them pose one of the greatest public health challenges in the world."

The United States should be aware that the post-antibiotic phase has "already arrived," and that it should stop relying solely on antibiotics that will one day lose its effectiveness because of bacteria, the report said.

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