Why overuse of antibiotics in COVID-19 could have lasting impact in health care
A leading Canadian microbiologist is sounding an alarm about overuse of precious antibiotics among the world’s more than 8.7 million cases of COVID-19.
So many people have been seriously sickened by COVID-19 that they need to be cared for in hospital, such as with oxygen. Doctors commonly prescribe antibiotics for people with COVID-19 in hospital.
Eric Brown, a professor at the McMaster University’s Institute of Infectious Disease Research, has concerns about how COVID-19 could drive up antibiotic resistance in bacteria that aren’t killed by standard drugs.
“The biggest concern is for those who have COVID-19 who maybe don’t need an antibiotic,” he said.
Canadian infectious disease physicians say guidelines suggest a limited role for antibiotics in COVID-19 cases. Once it’s clear that the person has COVID and there’s no bacterial infection, then the antibiotic treatments should be stopped to avoid encouraging another infection in the same patient.
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