Community knowledge about antibiotics key to fighting against ‘superbug’ threat

  18 May 2020

The rise of superbugs, which claimed the lives of an estimated 700,000 people globally in the past year, has been attributed to the overuse of antibiotics.

To combat the growing problem, the OUTBREAK project was set up in 2019 by the University of Technology Sydney, CSIRO and other partners. In a world first, the project aims to use Artificial Intelligence to predict superbug outbreaks and stop them before they reach the health system.

The team is also aiming to share trusted information on antibiotic-resistance and build community knowledge in Australia. To understand the current situation, Australia’s national science agency surveyed 2217 Australian adults.

Results included:

  • 92% did not know the difference between viral and bacterial infections
  • 13% of Australians wrongly believe coronavirus can be treated with antibiotics
  • 19% thought antibiotics were needed to treat the common cold
  • 14% have taken antibiotics prophylactically (“just in case”) when travelling overseas
Author(s): News Medical Life Sciences
Effective Surveillance  
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