Today, the many different types bacteria causing illness and infection are becoming resistance against the antibiotics that are used to fight them.  This antibiotic resistance has become a worldwide risk that affects both humans and animals alike.  Our inability to battle antimicrobials is directly affecting the Canada’s healthcare, environment and farming. The life-threatening outcomes of antibiotic resistant bacteria are controllable and a good place to start regaining this control is by informing the public.

Understanding the use and need for antibiotics is not always clear, and the why and how of a bacteria’s resistance to it is even less known.  The long-term and deadly consequences of the inappropriate use of antibiotics and the transfer of resistance bacteria needs to become a top priority in terms of public awareness.  While this is a societal level fix, it can significantly help.  Antibiotic resistance happens when strong bacteria survive a persons use of antibiotics.  This survival usually happens with the mishandling or overuse of prescribed antibiotics in ways such as: self-medicating, un-needed use of antibiotics and not following prescription directives.

Not only informing the public of how antibiotic resistance occurs, but also how it can spread will help even those who are not worried about contracting these resistance bacteria through the use of antibiotics.  These bacteria can be spread through contact with bodily fluids, as well as tainted surfaces such as shopping carts, handles, and debit machines as well as other transfer sources such as animals and contaminated food.  The reason why we need to start informing the public of the dangers surrounding antimicrobials is because of the power we have as individuals to make the right decisions and maintain healthy lifestyles.  The proper use of antibiotics is in our hands as people and patients, meanwhile direction and prescription falls into the hands of health care providers, pharmaceutical companies and the government.

The significance of public awareness is immense.  It allows for faster change.  Giving society the tools to fight back, ask questions and understand the impact of these resistant bacteria on their lives and the lives of those around them can create a surefire and rapid approach to slowing down the fight.  Among the other approaches that are being taken into consideration and applied at the federal and provincial levels there is a consensus between us all, put an end to antibiotic resistance and kill off the strong bacteria that seems to be fighting back and taking lives.

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