Everyone has an important role in keeping antibiotics working.
Illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are called infectious diseases. Communicable diseases are illnesses that can be spread from one person to another. We commonly refer to communicable diseases as contagious. Many illnesses are contagious before symptoms appear.
Bacterial Infections Are less common than viral infections. Do not spread as easily from one person to another. Cause infections such as pneumonia and strep throat. Antibiotics work against most bacteria.
Viral Infections Are more contagious than bacterial infections. If more than one person in your family has the same illness, it is most likely a viral infection. Can make you just a sick as bacterial infections. Usually get better in 7-10 days but it may take as long as three weeks to fully recover. About 80% of all respiratory infections are viral. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.
Anyone at any age can be infected with a communicable disease, but young children are at greater risk because: They have not been exposed to many of the most common germs and have no immunity to these illnesses. They have many habits which promote the spread of disease.
The germs that cause infectious diseases may be spread from person to person by indirect contact with objects or materials that are contaminated , such as, clothing, bedding or eating utensils. Young children are especially likely to share personal items. This increases the chances of spreading germs.
Many respiratory illnesses are spread through the inhalation of germs in the air and direct contact with infected saliva or mucus.
Illness is also spread through body fluids, blood and and hands contaminated with fecal matter or saliva and nasal discharge. Behaviors that promote the spread of disease in this way are not washing hands after toileting or blowing your nose. Infection can result from touching someone’s hand after they have used their hand to cover a sneeze.
Let’s now take a look at some of the differences between bacterial and viral infections. An important note about bacteria and viruses is that the diseases they cause can have the same symptoms, for instance cough or diarrhea, can be bacterial or viral. The treatment of each one will be different and how they are spread for person to person may be different.
Viral Illness Viruses are among the smallest microbes, much smaller even than bacteria. Viruses are not cells. Unlike most bacteria, most viruses do cause disease because they invade living, normal cells, such as those in the human body. They then multiply and produce other viruses like themselves. Viruses cause a variety of infectious diseases, among them the common cold, diarrhea, chicken pox, yellow fever, most childhood respiratory diseases and the majority of infections of the upper respiratory passages. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.
There are two main causes of respiratory infections: viruses and bacteria. Viruses cause colds, flu, bronchitis/cough, and most sore throats. More than 80% of sore throats are caused by viruses. Did you know that bronchitis is another word for cough illness?
Bacterial Illness Bacteria are minute life forms made up of only one cell which can cause infections in humans. Life in any form on Earth could not exist without these tiny cells. Bacteria have the ability to adapt quickly to their surroundings. Their goal is to survive and multiply. This ability to adapt to their surroundings is the basis of antibiotic resistance. Surviving contact with antibiotics allows the bacteria to resist the antibiotic the next time it is used. Antibiotics work against most bacteria.
Bacteria is the second main cause of respiratory infections. They cause strep throat and some ear infections. Ear infections and sinus infections can be caused by either a virus or a bacteria. If a virus is the cause, antibiotics will not work. Many ear infections and sinus infections will clear up on their own. A doctor may wait to prescribe an antibiotic. It’s important to work with your doctor to monitor your symptoms so that your doctor can make the best decision about whether an antibiotic is needed or not.
Let’s start by understanding what antibiotics can do. Review slide.
Bacteria are very clever and very easily adapt to their environment. Many bacteria have already adapted to resist antibiotics. This means the antibiotic will no longer be able to kill the bacteria that causes the illness. These bacteria are called antibiotic resistant bacteria . We all have bacteria living in our bodies called normal flora. When you take an antibiotic for a viral infection, these normal bacteria are being overexposed to antibiotics and can become resistant. Also, if you don’t finish the medication some bacteria remain and develop resistance to the medication, they then can continue to grow and mutate.
The usefulness of antibiotics is slowly being eroded by misuse. Already there are bacteria which are completely resistant to the penicillin group of drugs. As resistant bacteria spread, treating minor bacterial illnesses can take longer and require medicines that have more side-effects and take longer to work. The consequences of using antibiotics inappropriately affect everyone.
Each one of us has a role to play in protecting the usefulness of antibiotics. We have a tendency to take antibiotics for granted, but here are some simple measures you can use to protect yourself and your community.
These two things will to reduce the chance of becoming sick.
Antibiotics do not work against viruses.
Antibiotic resistant infections are more serious and harder to treat! People who take antibiotics frequently are more likely to have resistant bacteria and to be infected with resistant bacteria.
Support Appropriate Antibiotic UseEveryone Can Help Keep Antibiotics Working• By using antibiotics only when needed• Following good hygiene practices
What We’ll Learn...• Why children have more illness.• How are viruses and bacteria different?• How illness is spread.• Myths and facts about antibiotics.• Tips for for preventing the spread of illness.
Streptococcus Influenza Virus Pneumoniae Bacteria Flu •Ear infections •Meningitis •PneumoniaA communicable disease is disease that can bepassed from one person to another. Thesediseases are often caused by germs, such asbacteria or viruses.
Some examples of contagious bacterialdiseases are: -strep throat -impetigo -pertussis (whooping cough) -bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye) Antibiotics Work
Some contagious viral infections include: •varicella (chicken pox) •rubella (German measles) •the common cold •hepatitis •mumps •infectious mononucleosis •rubeola (measles) Antibiotics Don’t Work
Infection can result from sharing towels,dishes, or from handling contaminated objects. Indirect contact or skin to skin contact canalso result in the spread of an illness.
Sometimes an illness is passed to others bya carrier, or a person who has been infectedby a germ but does not look or feel sick. Thisperson may carry the germ in their nose,throat, or stomach. They can pass the germto others by coughing, sneezing, or by notwashing their hands properly.
• Your hands carry many germs even if you can’t see them. • Many people don’t wash their hands because they look clean. • As you can seeLight patches indicate this is not alwaysgerms carried on the the case. hands
Viruses• cause most common respiratory illnesses, such as colds and coughs• cause a variety of infections from diarrhea to meningitis• may take 2-3 weeks to resolve completely• some viruses can be prevented by vaccines and immunizations• antibiotics do not work for viruses
Viruses Cause...• Most bronchitis/chest colds• Green/yellow nasal discharge• Flu• Most sore throats• Ear aches and some sinusitis ….viruses clear up on their own - antibiotics wont help!
Bacteria• make you sick when they are where they don’t belong or grow more rapidly than normal• live in your mouth, nose and throat• are necessary for normal body functions like digestion• are one of the oldest living things on Earth
Bacteria Cause... • Strep throat • Some ear infections • Some sinus infections • Pneumonia...these can be treated with antibiotics
Virus or Bacteria: Who Knows?• Let your healthcare provider decide!• It is often hard to tell if illnesses are caused by a virus or bacteria• Dont pressure healthcare providers or parents for antibiotics
What are Antibiotics?Powerful medicines with one veryimportant job: to fight disease-causingbacteria.When used properly, antibiotics can savelives.
Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Are:Bacteria that mutate and are ableto resist the antibiotics that aremeant to kill them.This is a normal process sped upby the overuse and misuse ofantibiotics.
What is Antibiotic Misuse?• Taking antibiotics when they are not needed: – for viral infections• When needed, taking antibiotics incorrectly: – stopping the medicine when you feel better - not finishing the prescription – saving antibiotics for a future illness – sharing or using someone else’s medicine
Why is Antibiotic Misuse a Problem?1. Antibiotics become less effective and may not work the next time you use them.2. Improper use of antibiotics leads to more antibiotic resistant bacteria.3. Antibiotic resistant bacteria can be spread throughout the community and from person to person.
Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria• Require stronger antibiotics• Are more common in people who recently used antibiotics• Can be spread within a family or a community• Can affect anyone• Are becoming more common
Myths & Facts about Antibiotics and Respiratory Illness
Myths and Facts• Myth: Taking antibiotics means I or my child can return to work or childcare sooner• Fact: Antibiotics do not shorten the duration of viral illnesses Everyone should stay home until they are fever-free and well enough to participate in activities whether they have a viral or bacterial illness.
Myths and Facts• Myth: Cold and flu symptoms will feel better or get better faster on antibiotics• Fact: Antibiotics cannot ease the symptoms of viral illnesses; these infections resolve on their own Children and adults need extra rest and care, extra fluids…not antibiotics, symptomatic relief is helpful
Myths and Facts• Myth: Illnesses with the same symptoms require antibiotics• Fact: Illnesses with similar symptoms can be caused by different germs Let a healthcare provider decide if the illness is caused by a virus or bacteria - and if antibiotics are needed
Myths and Facts• Myth: If I take an antibiotic, I won’t spread my illness to others• Fact: Viral illnesses (colds, flu, etc.) usually spread from person to person before the onset of symptoms; before a person appears ill Antibiotics cannot stop the spread of viral illnesses
How do we Stop Antibiotic Misuse?• Don’t ask for antibiotics – let your doctor decide if you need them• Always take antibiotics exactly as prescribed• Finish the whole prescription - do not stop when you feel better• Never save antibiotics for a future illness – or share with others
How Can You Keep Yourself Well Handwashing Immunizations
Wash Your Hands...• Upon arrival to and before leaving work• Before and after handling food• Before and after toileting• After: – working outside – handling pets – handling any body fluids – wiping a childs nose or your own – using play dough, sand or water tables
Hand Washing is Important Because… • 80% of disease is spread by your hands. • Hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of respiratory illness. • Some germs can live on dry surfaces for several hours and moist surfaces like, sinks for 3 days.
Handwashing Guidelines• Wet hands with warm, running water• Add soap (preferably liquid), rub hands together to make a lather, away from water, for at least 15 seconds• Rinse hands well• Dry thoroughly with a clean, disposable towel• Use a hand sanitizer (alcohol-based) when soap and running water is not available (when outside or on trips, wash hands upon return from trips)
Despite Good Handwashing, Children and adults will still get sick...
Immunizations• Immunizations are another important part of infection control for vaccine preventable disease• Make sure you and your family is up-to-date on immunizations• Get an annual flu shot
Take Home Messages•Viruses cause most commonrespiratory illnesses•Viral illness needs time to heal -antibiotics cannot help
Take Home Messages• Taking antibiotics for viral illnesses will not: – cure the infection – keep others from getting the illness – make you feel better But it will make it more likely you will have resistant bacteria in your body.
Bottom Line• Antibiotics are powerful medicines, but theyre not always the answer!• Misusing antibiotics now means they may not work when needed later to fight a bacterial infection• We all need to play a role to help keep antibiotics working!
CONCLUSIONS• The changing healthcare environment is diminishing the boundaries between traditional community and hospital-acquired infections.• Inappropriate antimicrobial use and failure to fully implement infection control recommendations are leading to the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.• Increased collaboration between clinicians, infectious disease, infection control and microbiology personnel, State public health authorities, and private industry will be needed to reduce antimicrobial use, improve infection control, and prevent the further emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.
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