Antibiotics are medications that fight infections caused by bacteria. There is a difference between bacteria and viruses. For example, viruses cause colds, the flu, most sore throats, and bronchitis. Examples of infections caused by bacteria are salmonellosis, conjunctivitis, and bacterial pneumonia.
Here are some facts about antibiotic resistance:
- Some organisms are resistant to all approved antibiotics and must be treated with experimental and potentially toxic drugs.
- About 70 percent of bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one of the drugs most commonly used to treat infections.
- Unless antibiotic resistance problems are detected as they emerge, and actions are taken to contain them, the world could be faced with previously treatable diseases that have again become untreatable, as in the days before antibiotics were developed.
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