According to the World Health Organization (WHO) many people worldwide are confused about how antibiotics should be used, and this is causing a major upsurge of antibiotic-resistant super germs. WHO says that if the problem isn’t addressed, it could eventually lead to the end of modern medicine as we know it due to overuse of antibiotics and germs becoming impervious to the usual antibiotics to kill them.

WHO surveyed 10,000 people in 12 countries: Barbados, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan and Vietnam to get people’s perception on the use of antibiotics.

The survey used both online and face-to-face interviews, and included 14 questions on the usage of antibiotics, knowledge of these types of medications and antibiotic resistance.

Survey shows ignorance, misunderstandings on antibiotic usage

The United Nations health agency says that 64 percent of people surveyed thought that antibiotics like penicillin should be used to treat colds and the flu. Colds and flu are caused by viruses and antibiotics only work against bacteria.

Additionally, about 33 percent of those surveyed thought that they should stop a course of antibiotics as soon as they felt better. Not only is this incorrect, it leads to more antibiotic-resistant super germs. One should always take the full course of antibiotics when prescribed by your doctor.

This makes certain that all of the bacteria are killed, not just weakened.

Antibiotic-resistant germs kill hundreds of thousands every year

Antibiotic resistant super bug germs such as drug resistant typhoid, gonorrhea and tuberculosis are already killing hundreds of thousands of people every year all over the world.

According to WHO, these diseases aren’t the only ones causing problems, and that it might take five to 10 years to turn the trend around.

They urge doctors to convince their patients that they shouldn’t ask for antibiotics for conditions like flu or colds that antibiotics can't help, as well as instruct them to take prescribed antibiotics exactly has their prescription instructs them to do.

Survey part of campaign to help with public understanding of antibiotics

WHO says this and additional surveys will aid them and their partners to define the main gaps in the public’s understanding and misunderstandings in the use of antibiotics and assist in the campaign to stop this issue. A worldwide action plan is to be endorsed at a World Health Assembly in May that will have several objectives, including improving the awareness and understanding of antibiotic-resistant germs via more efficient communication, as well as more education and training programs on their proper use.

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