Modern medicine is always competing against bacteria to keep us safe and healthy. People who fall ill are usually prescribed antibiotics to kill the virus infecting their body. This medicine can be effective at getting rid of the virus most of the time.
However, our frequent use of these antibiotics is contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance refers to the phenomenon in which bacteria develop a resistance to the antibiotics that are used to kill them.
How does antibiotic resistance develop?
Antibiotic resistance usually develops when an antibiotic is unable to kill off all bacteria it is targeting in the body. A particular medicine could take care of 99% of this bacteria in the body, but the remaining 1% that is resistant may remain and persist in the body.
Taking antibiotics may also kill off the “good” bacteria that protect your system. This lets the antibiotic-resistant bacteria run free and pass their resistance onto other bacteria. Over time the concentration of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the infected body could increase and spread to others.
How dangerous are antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
Medical professionals are concerned about the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria because they are much harder to get rid of. If the bacteria that spread deadly diseases gain antibiotic resistance, they could lead to viral outbreaks that cost many lives.
How can we stop antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
Developing medicine to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a long and difficult process. The best way to combat this bacteria is to reduce its chances of developing antibiotic resistance and spreading.
You can slow down the spread of this bacteria by practicing good hygiene, avoiding food prepared in unsanitary conditions, and taking antibiotics only when needed. Everyone needs to play a part in stopping antibiotic-resistant bacteria before they spread and harm others.