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Antibiotic Awareness Week

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CDC’s U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week Events:

Wednesday, November 18 from 9-10 AM EST

  • Join the Global Twitter Storm.

Wednesday, November 18 from 3 PM-4 PM EST

  • Register here for CDC/HRSA’s Implementation of Antibiotic Stewardship Activities in Critical Access Hospitals webinar, presented by DHQP’s Dr. Arjun Srinivasan and Erin O’ Leary, MPH. Leading experts will discuss the implementation of antibiotic stewardship activities to measure and improve how antibiotics are used.

Monday, November 23 from 2:50 PM EST

  • View DHQP Director, Dr. Denise Cardo, who will be providing remarks on C. Diff prevention and antibiotic awareness at the virtual C. Diff Foundation Patient and Family Symposium.

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week: 

The U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW) will be observed November 18-24, 2020. This annual one-week observance highlights the steps everyone can take to improve antibiotic prescribing and use.

Please join the Texas DSHS in the fight against antibiotic resistance by becoming more aware of actions to improve antibiotic prescribing and use (The Texas DSHS commissioner’s invitation for healthcare providers to join the fight against antimicrobial resistance). Simple actions such as posting the CDC's Be Antibiotics Aware educational materials throughout your facilities or place of work will improve awareness about the importance of appropriate antibiotic use to effectively treat infections, protect patients, and combat antibiotic resistance.

Sign-up for the DSHS and the CDC e-mail listservs for news and updates on antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use!

Check out CDC's updated USAAW Be Antibiotics Aware Partner toolkit, which contains key messages for both consumers and healthcare professionals, social media content, graphics, and more to help you and your organization prepare for USAAW.

Join the Global Twitter Storm on Wednesday, November 18 from 9-10 AM EST
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Be on the lookout for the following from CDC:

CDC resources to use in observation of USAAW:

Be on the lookout for new & updated CDC data & resources:

Key messages for patients and families:

  • Get the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu, bronchitis, or runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow, or green. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still cause harm.
  • Ask your healthcare professional about the most appropriate treatment for you or your loved ones’ illness. If antibiotics are not needed, ask about the best way to feel better while your body fights off the virus.
  • If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
  • Talk with your healthcare professional if you develop any side effects, especially severe diarrhea, since that could be a Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile or C. diff) infection, which needs to be treated immediately.
  • Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning hands by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; staying home when sick; and getting recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.

Key messages for healthcare professionals:

  • Only prescribe antibiotics when they are clinically indicated. Antibiotics are only needed to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, not viruses like SARS-CoV-2. You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed.
  • Follow clinical guidelines on how best to evaluate and treat infections.
  • Optimizing the use of diagnostic tests is critical for improving treatment of conditions like sepsis and stopping the spread of infections, including those caused by SARS-CoV-2.
  • Always prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time.
    • Using the shortest effective duration of antibiotic therapy is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy in all health care settings. The goal is to optimize the treatment of the infection while minimizing the risks of side effects from antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
  • Only prescribe antibiotics when they are needed. You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics that aren’t needed.
  • Tell your patients why they don’t need antibiotics for a viral respiratory infection, what to do to feel better, and when to seek care again if they don’t feel better.
  • Talk to your patients and their families about possible harms from antibiotics, such as allergic reactions, C. difficile, and antibiotic-resistant infections.
  • Educate your patients and their families to recognize the signs and symptoms of worsening infection and sepsis, and to know when to seek medical care.
  • If sepsis is suspected, gather patient information and immediately communicate it to hospital healthcare professionals. Antibiotics should be started as soon as possible when sepsis is suspected.

Key messages for inpatient & long-term healthcare professionals:

  • Antibiotics are only needed to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, not viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Only prescribe antibiotics when they are clinically indicated. You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed.
  • Patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria should not be treated with antibiotics in most cases.
  • Optimizing the use of diagnostic tests is critical for improving treatment of conditions like sepsis and stopping the spread of infections, including those caused by SARS-CoV-2.
  • Always remember to prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time.
    • Reassess antibiotic therapy to stop or tailor treatment based on the patient/resident’s clinical condition and diagnostic test results as appropriate.
    • Use of the shortest effective duration of antibiotic therapy is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy. Optimizing duration of therapy, especially in care transitions, is an important target for improvement.

Key messages for outpatient healthcare professionals:

  • Antibiotics are only needed to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, not viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Only prescribe antibiotics when they are clinically indicated. You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed.
  • Tell your patients why they don’t need antibiotics for a viral respiratory infection, what to do to feel better, and when to seek care again if they don’t feel better.
  • Always prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time.
    • Using the shortest effective duration of antibiotic therapy is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy in all health care settings. The goal is to optimize the treatment of the infection while minimizing the risks of side effects from antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
  • Talk to patients and their families about possible harms from antibiotics, such as allergic reactions, C. difficile. and antibiotic-resistant infections.
  • Educate your patients and their families to recognize the signs and symptoms of worsening infection and sepsis, and to know when to seek medical care.
  • If sepsis is suspected, gather patient information and immediately communicate it to hospital healthcare professionals. Antibiotics should be started as soon as possible when sepsis is suspected.

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Last updated November 16, 2020