Antibiotic Awareness Week Is November 18-24, 2019

Antibiotic Awareness Week is observed this week in the United States, November 18th through the 24th. The purpose is to highlight the steps everyone can take to improve antibiotic prescribing and use.

Antibiotic Awareness Week: Why It’s Important

Antibiotics save lives and are critical tools for treating a number of common and more serious infections, like those that can lead to sepsis. However, the fact is, at least 30 percent of the antibiotics in United States outpatient settings are prescribed unnecessarily.


Indeed, any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance, one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health.


Antibiotic resistance is a serious problem, not only here in the United States, but also world wide. Resistance happens when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. In fact, each year in the United States, more than 2.8 million infections from bacteria are resistant to the antibiotics prescribed. And, more than 35,000 people die as a direct result. Many more die from complications from antibiotic-resistant infections.


Antibiotic resistance has spread around the world, and it’s making some diseases, such as meningitis and pneumonia, more difficult to treat. You might need stronger, more expensive drugs. Or you might need to take them longer. You also might not get well as quickly, or you could develop other health issues, even death. 

Each year, an estimated 2 million people in the United States develop infections that are resistant to antibiotics. In some cases, these infections result in death.


Resistance also makes it more difficult to care for people with chronic diseases. Some people need medical treatments like chemotherapy, surgery, or dialysis, and they sometimes take antibiotics to help reduce the risk of infection.


antibiotic awareness month


Antibiotic Awareness Week: Patient Education Is The Key

It is important to teach healthcare professionals the right way to prescribe antibiotics.Doing so, keeps us healthy, fights antibiotic resistance, and ensures that these lifesaving drugs are available to future generations.


The Antibiotic Awareness Week  is a collaboration of the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), state-based programs, nonprofit partners, and for-profit partners.


CDC’s educational effort, is the year-round effort to improve antibiotic prescribing and use and combat antibiotic resistance.


Partner Activities

Partner organizations in this endeavor include federal agencies, health departments, professional societies, corporations, and advocacy groups. Their mission is to raise awareness about the importance of appropriate antibiotic use throughout the year.


In the past, more than 300 organizations have participated in the observance in a variety of ways. They include joining activities and events to using resources from the CDC toolkit to stories and updates on social media.

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