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Get Smart About Antibiotics Week is an annual one-week observance to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.

Get Smart Week logoEach year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.

On September 18, 2014, the White House announced an Executive Order stating that the Federal Government will work domestically and internationally to detect, prevent, and control illness and death related to antibiotic-resistant infections by implementing measures that reduce the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and help ensure the continued availability of effective therapeutics for the treatment of bacterial infections.

The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human medicine. However, up to 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed. Antibiotics are also commonly used for promoting growth in food animals, one type of use that is not necessary.

Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2016

During November 14-20, 2016, the annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week will be observed. The observance is a key component of CDC’s efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship in communities, in healthcare facilities, and on the farm in collaboration with state-based programs, nonprofit partners, and for-profit partners. The one-week observance raises awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.

The observance is an international collaboration, coinciding with:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013. 16 September 2013.

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