The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is launching two national campaigns aimed at educating parents and health care providers about inappropriate antibiotic use and antibiotic-resistant infections. “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week” will target a major source of inappropriate use: upper respiratory infections. Meanwhile, new outreach efforts are directed at teaching parents and physicians about preventing and treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Get Smart About Antibiotics
During “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week,” Oct. 6-10, CDC, state officials, and non-profit partners including IDSA will be working to educate the public and providers on how to minimize unnecessary use of antibiotics for upper respiratory infections.
For providers, the CDC website contains collections of one-page physician information sheets useful for influencing other physicians’ prescribing habits. Information sheets for both pediatric and adult physicians are available, detailing appropriate use for pharyngitis, bronchitis, otitis media, and other respiratory tract infections. Treatment guidelines for appropriate use also are found on the website.
To help providers educate their patients, the website also includes downloadable brochures and posters in English and Spanish that explain in lay language why antibiotics are not the answer for most upper respiratory infections. There is also a video demonstration of how to talk to a patient about why antibiotics won’t work for a cold.
For those seeking to hold their own Get Smart Week events, CDC has a webpage of resources to help you prepare, including planning guidance, suggested activities, media resources, and more.
CDC’s National MRSA Education Initiative aims to “help Americans better recognize and prevent MRSA skin infections,” according to the initiative’s homepage. The page on information for health care providers notes that, given the rising incidence of MRSA, “When a patient has a skin infection, it may very likely be MRSA.” Identification and treatment options are explored in downloadable brochures, flyers, and a treatment algorithm developed by IDSA, CDC, and the American Medical Association. For parents, answers to frequently asked questions about MRSA are available, along with downloadable, full-color fact sheets and posters.
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