*** ----> Over and misuse of antibiotics greatest threats to global health | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Over and misuse of antibiotics greatest threats to global health

TDT | Manama                                                     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com     

Reported by Julia Cassano    

New data suggests that antibiotics may not help the survival of patients hospitalized with viral infections. Usually, patients who are admitted to hospitals with acute viral infections are given antibiotics by their doctors or healthcare providers as a precaution against bacterial co-infection.

However, new research suggests that giving antibiotics to people with common respiratory infections is unlikely to lower the risk of death within 30 days. When the pandemic hit, government officials, as well as doctors, were unprepared and unaware of the massive chaos that Covid-19 would bring to the world, and at the height of the pandemic, around 70 per cent of Covid-19 patients have been prescribed antibiotics in some countries.

Research says that this could have potentially contributed to the scourge of antibiotic-resistant pathogens known as superbugs. When speaking to The Daily Tribune, Dr Rama Krishna, general surgeon and head of the Antibiotic Stewardship program at American Mission Hospital, confirmed the over usage and over-prescription of antibiotics, saying: “There is certainly an overprescription of antibiotics, and this is one of the main factors for antibiotic stewardship programs beginning all over the world.”


He, however, said that as a doctor, when a patient is in a critical condition, it is an alarming situation. And to ensure that the patient’s condition does not worsen, the doctor will usually prescribe a type of antibiotic.

“Especially during the Covid pandemic, the fear factor amongst the patients and their relatives increased tremendously. The rise of Covid inflicted panic amongst many, in fact, for simple viral upper respiratory infections in children, the parents were very insistent to prescribe an antibiotic, to ensure safety for their children.”

Throughout the pandemic, parents were increasingly worried that their child became unwell, which would lead to a higher demand in parents to receive a prescription for their children. He noted that currently in developing countries, many people are dying due to the resistant organism.

“Many can contain a superbug that is resistant to all antibiotics and the doctors or intensive care specialists will prescribe two to three antibiotics at the highest dose hoping for improvement of the patient’s condition to come.”

The research claims that the overuse and misuse of antibiotics have helped microbes become resistant to many treatments, and a development scientist considers this one of the greatest threats to global health.

Dr Krisha stated that further research must be conducted in the coming years to effectively analyze the rate of superbugs in patients’ cultures. “Since Covid began, the world has been hit hard, and in the coming years when cultures are further examined across the globe by comparing pre-pandemic cultures to now, this will lead to clearer evidence to definitively discuss the prominence of resistance.”