How Does Antibiotics Resistance Happen?

How Does Antibiotics Resistance Happen?

Your body can develop an antibiotic resistance if you abuse antibiotics. This means that your body will also stop responding to treatment for those diseases

Doctors often treat bacterial infections with antibiotics.But there are cases where bacteria show resistance to the antibiotics used to treat them, and this is what is known as antibiotic resistance.

What is antibiotic resistance?

You know how they say your body monitors and even remembers viruses that have ever made you sick and then goes on to kill these enemies? Unfortunately, bacteria are learning to do the same thing. Over the years, they appear to have begun monitoring and recognising the antibiotics you throw at them and coming up with ways to stay very much alive, and this is why we now have antibiotic resistance.

antibiotics resistance

As a result, antibiotic resistance has led to higher medical costs, hospital stays becoming even longer, and rising death rates. You can expect this if you lose your ability to treat things like pneumonia and tuberculosis. Even worse when people go to drugstores to buy themselves antibiotics without prescription. This act of self-prescription increases the chances of the bacteria coming up with resistance. Also, a similar thing happens when doctors over-prescribe antibiotics.

Prevention and control

Preventing and controlling the rise of antibiotic resistance will require efforts from both sides. Individuals, medical doctors and healthcare providers all have to play a part. As individuals, below are precautions you should take.

  1. Individuals

How Does Antibiotics Resistance Happen?

Since bacteria are becoming resistant, it is only wise to try and avoid getting any diseases caused by bacteria. Although no one can completely avoid such diseases, you can reduce the risks.

  • Ask questions

You must ask your doctor questions about certain infections. There is power in knowledge. So, never hesitate in bringing up questions and concerns when you or any of your family members have any. Also, try to keep any cuts you have clean and covered to avoid bacteria.

  • Wash your hands

Washing of hands is such a simple task and yet one of the most overlooked. Keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to keep infections and avoid getting sick. The less infected people are the less they need any antibiotics, making it harder for bacteria to come up with ways to beat antibiotics. So wash your hands regularly to contribute to the fight against antibiotic resistance.

  • Get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated is important because it's a sure way to keep infections out before they can hit your system. And not only can vaccines keep small infections out, but it can also keep resistant ones out. To that effect, there are recommended vaccines for all ages.

  • Watch your health

They say health is wealth. Therefore, you need to understand the signs and symptoms of infections that occur now and then. This is because it will enable you to be watchful of your health so that you can get appropriate help. Otherwise, some infections grow to become something more complicated and life-threatening. So, talk to your doctor about how to recognise the signs and symptoms of certain infections.

  • Use antibiotics appropriately

Avoid going to the drugstore to buy antibiotics anytime you or any of your family members get sick. The fact that you don't get any immediate side effects doesn't mean there are none. What happens with time is that the harmful bacteria in your body learn to defeat the effect of the antibiotics you've been taking. Then, imagine when you desperately need the same antibiotics and they're not working.

  • Prevent STDs

Certain sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea are as a result of bacteria that can develop antibiotic resistance. So the best way to avoid not being able to treat an STD because of antibiotic resistance is to prevent yourself from getting infected. Use a condom before having sex, and if you and your partner already tested positive, seek treatment immediately.

  • Prepare food safely

Bacteria that can cause food poisoning also live in the kitchen. To keep your food from getting infected, wash your hands thoroughly before and after cooking meals. Also, wash your kitchen utensils and cutting boards with soap and water.

  1. Doctors and health care providers

get vaccinated when needed

Patients can get antibiotic-resistant infections while receiving treatment.  To prevent this, take the following precautions.

  • Germs can follow someone across the border. So, ask your patients whether they travelled to another country recently or if they received treatment from any other facility.
  • Ensure that patients have taken the recommended vaccines.
  • Educate patients on ways to prevent spreading infections.
  • Stay informed on current outbreaks.
  • Talk to your patients about how to take antibiotics correctly.

Antibiotic resistance has long been an issue, but it has been made worse by the misuse of antibiotics. Fighting a lot of diseases require the power of antibiotics. Therefore, you and your family should use antibiotics only when prescribed.

Read also: How to know if you have a C-section infection

WHO, CDC

Written by

Lydia Ume