The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) this week joins with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in observing the ninth annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week from November 14-20. During this week, participants will raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and emphasize the importance of appropriate antibiotic use across all types of health care settings. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics and is a serious threat to Connecticut residents.
"Antibiotics are critical for medical care and save thousands of lives every year in Connecticut," said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. "It would be a great human tragedy and public health disaster if this precious resource could no longer save lives. That is why DPH, healthcare providers, and facilities across the state are joining the fight against antibiotic resistance. The best way to avoid antibiotic resistance is to strictly follow doctors’ recommendations on how to properly use antibiotics. I urge Connecticut residents follow their doctor’s prescriptions and to learn more about the proper way to use antibiotics."
Misuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance, and up to one-third to one-half of antibiotic use in humans is either not necessary or not appropriate, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a public health priority. Antibiotics should be used only when needed. When they are used, they should be used correctly.
The issue of antibiotic resistance has gained national prominence in recent years, culminating with Congress passing legislation earlier this year dedicating new funding for CDC to address antibiotic resistance. In addition to raising awareness, Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2016 highlights partnerships between CDC, state and local health departments, healthcare providers, and the public. One such partnership is resulting in the formation of a network of laboratories and public health workers to make surveillance and testing for antibiotic resistance more available to hospitals, laboratories, and medical providers across the state and nation to detect and fight outbreaks.