From Monday, November 13 until Sunday, November 19, the country’s Center for Disease Control will promote its annual U.S. Antibiotics Awareness Week. The campaign, designed by the CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, is in its tenth year.
The Week, previously referred to as Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, asks participating organizations, such as EZC Pak, to help raise awareness about the very real threat of antibiotic resistance. We at EZC Pak have educated on the topic of antibiotic awareness since our inception in 2015. We have shared materials about antibiotic stewardship and have reached over 1,000 healthcare providers to date.
Says Dr. Sarath Malepati, the creator of EZC Pak: “Per a 2014 WebMD Survey, 95% of US prescribers admit to writing antibiotics when unclear of their necessity. This problematic interaction is fueling antibiotic resistance and our growing superbug crisis in the healthcare system.”
Last year, in 2016, EZC Pak sponsored an Antibiotic Stewardship Symposium at UCLA. We invited distinguished researchers & professors from UCLA, USC, Cedars-Sinai, and the Los Angeles Veterans Hospital to speak about antibiotic overuse.
- EZC Pak is debuting a digital short film, “Be Antibiotix Aware”. The film features Los Angeles-based antibiotic stewards and healthcare providers, including Dr. Aunna Pourang, MD as the Urgent Care physician, Dr. Fina Madrid, DDS as a patient named Ivana Antibiotix, and Chandler May, RN as a patient named Antoine Antibiotix.
- EZC Pak is holding the first #AntibioticResistance IG Chat Loop on Thursday, Nov 16th at 5pm PST/8pm EST. Visit our IG profile: www.instagram.com/ezcpak
The campaign aims to educate and explain the importance of safe antibiotics prescribing and use. The CDC provides easy-to-understand graphics and charts to help practitioners understand when antibiotics are indicated. The goal: encourage only appropriate antibiotic usage, in which these medications are prescribed only when necessary, at the right time, at the right dose, and for the right duration.
Some of the expert-approved materials for patients include:
Other materials, such as these listed, are designed specifically for providers:
The following activities and promotions are planned for the week:
The CDC asks that all who participate use the hashtags #BeAntibioticsAware and #USAAW17 when promoting the campaign. We at EZC Pak will also add our own hashtag, #KnowAntibiotics, to our social media content during the week.
At EZC Pak, our long term mission aligns with the CDC’s. We believe that inappropriate antibiotic usage puts Americans at risk. As such, we are happy to present to you these tips from the CDC that’ll help you be a savvier, healthier patient:
Antibiotics do not work on viruses such as colds, flu, or runny noses. Green or yellow mucus does not indicate a need for antibiotics. Using antibiotics when they are unnecessary will not improve your condition in any way -- but it could cause you harm.
Talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to feel better when you’re under the weather. They may suggest pain relievers, fever reducers, supplements, nasal sprays, liquids, and rest. Understand that adding antibiotics to this list will not help you feel better faster.
When you are prescribed antibiotics for a bacterial infection, take each dose exactly as your doctor prescribed. You may want to talk to your doctor about ensuring you are using the minimum effective dose of antibiotics whenever possible. This allows your physician to treat and cure the infection while reducing the risks of antibiotic resistance and the nasty side effects of antibiotics.
One key to avoiding colds, flus, and other infections: stay healthy from the get-go. Employ proper handwashing technique, get enough rest, and stay home from work or school when sick. You can also discuss supplements and vaccines with your physician.
Whether you distribute materials, use the official hashtags, or just become a more informed patient, know that you’re making a difference in striking out inappropriate antibiotic use.
Additional CDC Materials:
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