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The number of new superbug infections is increasing and the number of new drugs to treat these infections is low. As viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites become resistant to new and existing drugs, the ability of the drugs to treat the infections is reduced. The situation is called anti-microbial resistance.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says anti-microbial-resistant infections are associated with a greater risk of death, more complex illnesses, longer hospital stays and higher treatment costs. One Canadian study estimated the annual hospital costs of MRSA, for instance, to be between $42 million and $59 million.
To combat the ineffective and inappropriate use of these antimicrobial medications here, Sun Country Health Region has created a team of health care experts and a program to make changes to health care practices and to encourage greater public understanding of the issue and the consequences of inappropriate antibiotic use.
The team is creating new protocols to ensure antimicrobials (antibiotics, antiparasitics and antifungals) are always used appropriately in health care settings. It also plans to educate the public through brochures and posters about the appropriate use of antibiotics.
One good source of information for the public is at the following location: Maryn McKenna: What do we do when antibiotics don’t work any more? | TED Talk | TED.com