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Antibiotic Awareness Week

Antibiotic Awareness Week November 18-24 2019

CDC’s events for promoting antimicrobial awareness:

 Date  Activity
Monday, November 18

Launch Day

Global Twitter Storm: 10:00-11:00 AM CST

It’s U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week!

Join the Global Twitter Storm & start by using the following tweet:

#AntibioticResistance is one of the most urgent global health threats. Everyone has a role to play in improving antibiotic use to help fight antibiotic resistance. #USAAW2019

Follow the Twitter handle @CDCgov.
Tuesday, November 19
Ongoing Promotion 
Read the feature story Urgent Care Collaborating to Address Antimicrobial Resistance on our Safe Healthcare Blog
Wednesday, November 20
Webinar - 12:00 PM CST 

Webinar: Improving Antibiotic Stewardship in Critical Access Hospitals: Strategies and Success Stories;

Co-hosted by CDC and HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

Register onlineexternal icon. Use the hashtag #RuralHealth. 
Thursday, November 21
Ongoing Promotion 
Continue social media promotion and sharing of resources from the Be Antibiotics Aware toolkit. 
Friday, November 22
Ongoing Promotion 
Continue social media promotion and sharing of resources from the Be Antibiotics Aware toolkit. 

From https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/week/toolkit.html

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week is an annual one-week observance that gives participating organizations an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic use to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance.

Be Antibiotics Aware, a CDC educational effort, complements U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week by providing partners with up-to-date information to help improve antibiotic prescribing and use in the United States.

The CDC’s recently released 2019 AR Threats Report, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019, includes the latest national death and infection estimates that underscore the continued threat of antibiotic resistance in the U.S. According to the 2019 report, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. In addition, 223,900 cases of Clostridioides difficile occurred in 2017 and at least 12,800 people died.

Dedicated prevention and infection control efforts in the U.S. are working to reduce the number of infections and deaths caused by antibiotic-resistant germs, but the number of people facing antibiotic resistance is still too high. More action is needed to fully protect people.

CDC is concerned about rising resistant infections in the community, which can put more people at risk, make spread more difficult to identify and contain, and threaten the progress made to protect patients in healthcare. The emergence and spread of new forms of resistance remains a concern.

The report lists 18 antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi into three categories based on level of concern to human health—urgent, serious, and concerning—and highlights:

  • Estimated infections and deaths since the 2013 report
  • Aggressive actions taken
  • Gaps slowing progress

The report also includes a Watch List with three threats that have not spread resistance widely in the U.S. but could become common without a continued aggressive approach.  

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week will be observed November 18-22, 2019. This annual observance is a key component of CDC’s efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship in communities, in healthcare facilities, and on the farm in collaboration with state-based programs, nonprofit partners, and for-profit partners. Through events and a multitude of resources, CDC and its partners intend to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and promote appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.

Please join the Texas DSHS in the fight against antibiotic resistance by becoming more aware of evidence-based 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 attached materials throughout your facilities will bring awareness to providers, patients, and families alike as they interact with your healthcare system.

For additional resources, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/week/index.html, or reach out to your local, regional, or state health department contact.

Be Antibiotics Aware:

  • Antibiotics save lives. When a patient needs antibiotics, the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects and antibiotic resistance.
  • Antibiotics aren’t always the answer. Everyone can help improve antibiotic prescribing and use. Improving the way healthcare professionals prescribe antibiotics, and the way we take antibiotics, helps keep us healthy now, helps fight antibiotic resistance, and ensures that these lifesaving antibiotics will be available for future generations.
  • 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.
  • Antibiotics are only needed for treating infections caused by bacteria, but even some bacterial infections get better without antibiotics. Antibiotics aren’t needed for many sinus infections and some ear infections.
  • An antibiotic will not make you feel better if you have a virus. Respiratory viruses usually go away in a week or two without treatment. Ask your healthcare professional about the best way to feel better while your body fights off the virus.
  • When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still cause harm. Side effects range from minor to very severe health problems. When you need antibiotics for a bacterial infection, then the benefits usually outweigh the risk of side effects.
  • Taking antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them.
  • If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
  • Talk with your doctor if you develop any side effects, especially severe diarrhea, since that could be a Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile or C. diff) infection, formerly known as Clostridium difficile, which needs to be treated.
  • Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and getting recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.

Messages to provoke conversation between providers and patients about antibiotics:

  • 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 hurt you.
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about the best way to feel better.
  • While your body fights off a virus, pain relievers, fever reducers, saline nasal spray or drops, warm compresses, liquids, and rest can help you feel better.
  • If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
  • Talk with your doctor 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.
  • Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and getting recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.

Patients and families are encouraged to use the educational materials and learn more about Be Antibiotics Aware by visiting the  CDC’s Antibiotic Prescribing and Use page.

Key messages for healthcare professionals:

For outpatient settings:

  • Follow clinical guidelines on whether to prescribe antibiotics and when prescribing antibiotics, to prescribe the right antibiotic at the right dose for the right duration at the right time.
  • Shortening the duration of antibiotic therapy to the minimum effective duration is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy in all settings of health care. The goal is to maximize the benefit to the patient by curing the infection while at the same time minimizing the risks of antibiotic resistance and side effects from antibiotics.
  • Protect your patients. 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 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 so they can recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis and know when to seek medical care for possible sepsis.
  • Perform hand hygiene and follow infection prevention measures with every patient.

For inpatient or long-term care settings:

  • Follow clinical guidelines when prescribing antibiotics.
  • Always remember to prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time.
  • Review antibiotic therapy 48 to 72 hours after it is started based on the patient’s/ resident’s clinical condition and microbiology culture results, and stop or change antibiotic orders as needed—a critical step in care.
  • Talk to patients/residents and families about when antibiotics are and are not needed, and discuss possible harms such as allergic reactions, C. difficile and antibiotic-resistant infections.
  • Be aware of antibiotic resistance patterns in your facility and community; use the data to inform prescribing decisions.
  • Follow hand hygiene and other infection prevention measures with every patient/resident.

For more information please visit the CDC’s website at  https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/.


Last updated November 14, 2019