Misuse of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic could be harmful: Dr Shivani Juneja

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Misuse of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic could be harmful: Dr Shivani Juneja

 

Mohali, November 24, 2020: World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) (18 – 24 November) was observed at Fortis Hospital here. The objective of the same was to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

 

Dr. Shivani Juneja, Attended Consultant, Pharmacology, Fortis Hospital Mohali said, “The misuse of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to the accelerated spread of antimicrobial resistance. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not by bacteria, and therefore, anti-bacterial should not be used to prevent or treat viral infections, unless bacterial infections are also present. Hence, taking antimicrobials without a prescription will not only promote antimicrobials resistance but can also be associated with significant adverse drug effects, high cost, and complications.”

 

Dr. Juneja said, Antimicrobials, which include antibiotics, are sold without prescription by health-care professionals in most parts of the world. The scale and effect of this practice are unknown. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when bacteria, fungi, viruses develop the ability to defeat the medications designed to kill them. Thus, making common infections harder to treat and thereby increasing the risk of spread and severity of the disease.

 

The doctor said, Antimicrobials are agents that are crucial tools for treating diseases in humans, animals, and plants. Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are key factors leading to the development of drug-resistant infections. Poor medical prescribing practices, over the counter use, and patient adherence to treatment also contributes to AMR. Often they are incorrectly prescribed for those illnesses or taken without proper medical oversight.

Misuse of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic could be harmful: Dr Shivani Juneja

 

Dr. Shivani Juneja, said, “We need to be watchful and encourage best practices among ourselves to slow down the development of AMR and the spread of drug-resistant infections”.

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