- A new study reveals the extent of antibiotic misuse for a common sore throat, fueling the third leading cause of death worldwide
LONDON, Nov. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A new global study launched during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW, Nov. 18-24) shows a high reliance on antibiotics to treat respiratory conditions such as pain sore throat, which is helping to drive antibiotic resistance, the third leading cause of death worldwide, associated with 4.95 million deaths a year.
The Sore Throat and Antibiotic Resistance (STAR) study, commissioned by the Global Respiratory Infection Partnership (GRIP) and Reckitt, the makers of Strepsils, found that more than half of the adults surveyed had taken antibiotics for a respiratory condition such as soreness sore throat in the past six months even though antibiotics are not effective for 9 out of 10 sore throats. Upper respiratory tract infections represent the leading cause of antibiotic misuse in adults worldwide.
The STAR study findings suggest that a misunderstanding about how to treat sore throats is contributing to the overuse of antibiotics. 61% of adults under the age of 35 believe that antibiotics are effective for a sore throat, and almost half (45%) of this age group do not know how to treat respiratory conditions without antibiotics. This high level of confusion may explain why 38% of those under 35 feel anxious about receiving treatment for respiratory conditions such as sore throats without antibiotics.
However, this anxiety is mostly misplaced. Almost no sore throats require antibiotics since they are caused by viruses, not bacterial infections. Sufferers generally benefit most from anti-inflammatory throat lozenges and pain relievers for their symptoms.
During WAAW, GRIP, an expert-led initiative to educate medical professional stakeholders about the misuse of antibiotics in respiratory diseases, urges the public to lead the way against misuse by asking a healthcare expert if antibiotics are and consider alternative treatments and symptomatic relief.
Commenting on the study, GRIP Chair Professor Sabiha Essack noted:
"The results of this study are troubling, as those under 35 (our leaders and the workforce of the future) incorrectly believe that antibiotics work for all colds and sore throats and may not be aware of the consequences of use. inappropriate use of antibiotics in personal and public health. GRIP calls for awareness and education on the appropriate use of antibiotics and encourages young people to ask questions to help fight antibiotic resistance."
For more information or interviews with GRIP experts Sabiha Essack and Martin Duerden: Jamie.email@example.com, 44 20 8154 6389
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