Health experts warn against unnecessary and excessive use of antibiotics

Using antibiotics without a medical prescription to recover from novel coronavirus infection can pose serious health problems, the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists warned.

‘Antibiotic resistance’ due to the unnecessary and excessive use of antibiotics is now developing into a global health crisis.

According to the President of Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists, Consultant Clinical Microbiologist Dr. Geethika Patabendige, a large number of people are using antibiotics to control the virus infection, making it impossible to control the diseases that were previously treated with antibiotics.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned that close to 10 million people are expected to fall victim to antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 2050 as a result of misuse and overuse of antibiotics, Dr. Patabendige added.

She also urged people to refrain from using antibiotics without a prescription issued by a medical officer to control COVID-19 infection.

Antimicrobials—including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and anti-parasitics—are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals, and plants.

Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites are constantly changing, and no longer respond to medicines used to treat the infections they cause.

This antimicrobial resistance makes infections harder to treat, which increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. It emerges naturally, usually through genetic changes.

However, the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in humans, livestock, and agriculture have accelerated the process, as has a lack of clean water and sanitation, and inadequate infection prevention and control.

-with inputs from agencies

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