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Confusion abounds regarding what antibiotic resistance is and what can be done to prevent the problem from increasing, according to a new worldwide survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) (http://bit.ly/1j3qqy4).
Among key findings of the survey, two-thirds of about 10 000 respondents from 12 countries said they were aware of antibiotic resistance and knew it could affect them and their families—a promising finding. However, a number of misconceptions were also revealed, suggesting the devil is in the details. About one-third of people thought it was okay to stop taking an antibiotic once they started feeling better, rather than taking the medicine for the entire time prescribed, and about three-quarters of respondents thought “antibiotic resistance” meant that people were becoming resistant to the antibiotics, when in fact it is the bacteria causing the infections that are becoming resistant.
Friedrich MJ. WHO Survey Reveals Misconceptions About Antibiotic Resistance. JAMA. 2016;315(3):242. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.18462