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U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW) is an annual observance highlighting the importance of being Antibiotics Aware and the steps everyone can take to improve antibiotic use or prescribing.

Each 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 will die from complications by an antibiotic-resistant infection.

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.

Improving the way healthcare professionals prescribe antibiotics, and the way we take antibiotics, helps keep us healthy now, helps fight antibiotics resistance, and ensures that these life-saving drugs will be available for future generations.

You can participate in U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018 events, or host your own. There are many ways to get involved!

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018

The annual U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week will be observed November 12-18. The observance is a key component of CDC’s efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing and use in communities, in healthcare facilities, and on the farm. It is a collaboration of CDC, 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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