Doctors warn of drug resistant bacteria - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Doctors warn of drug resistant bacteria

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

More than 2 million people in the United State get drug resistant infections every year, and almost 23,000 of them die from it. Dr. Julie Roberts at North Columbus Family Practice said more people are taking antibiotics unnecessarily which causes the bacteria to become resistant and can make it harder for you to get better when you actually need the medicine.

Many of the drug resistant deaths come from hospital acquired infections. Dr. Roberts said hospitals will use very high end antibiotics and when a patient becomes resistant to one of those it could be costly.

"We use our biggest guns to take those bugs out, but every time we pull a big gun out we risk making that bacteria even stronger. It's a catch 22," said Dr. Roberts.

She said we can't keep up with the evolving bacteria because only a few drugs a year get FDA approval but new bacterial strains can happen daily. That's why she urges people to only use an antibiotic when necessary.

Dr. Roberts said most times when patients are walking through the door, they're expecting a prescription but it's not always beneficial.

"They're so healthy their body is probably going to kill that cold virus on their own. They don't really need that antibiotic. The next time they come in and we gave them an antibiotic they didn't need, they'll need a stronger antibiotic to kill the next line of bugs because we just made resistant bugs in their body," said Dr. Roberts.

She says doctors shouldn't give inappropriate antibiotics and patients shouldn't expect them. The best thing to do is have good hand health. She said always wash your hands to keep drug resistant bacteria from entering your body especially if you've been around someone who is sick.

Dr. Roberts said you should continue to use hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap. These products are designed to kill everything on site. Antibiotics are made to prevent bacteria from multiplying.

The CDC said antibiotic resistant infections add 20 billion dollars in direct health care costs each year.  

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