Why overuse of antibiotics in COVID-19 could have lasting impact in health care

  26 June 2020

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.

Further reading: CBC
Author(s): Amina Zafar
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