Be Antibiotics Aware Partner Toolkit

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week is
November 18-24, 2022.

Messages for U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week
  • U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week is an annual one-week observance that gives participating organizations an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic use to combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Be Antibiotics Aware, a CDC educational effort, complements U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week by providing partners with up-to-date information to help improve human antibiotic prescribing and use in the United States.
Partner Call: USAAW 2022

October 27, 2022 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EDT

Missed the presentation? Click here[PDF – 17 Pages]

Check out CDC’s USAAW 2022 Partner Toolkit to help spread the word.

Key Messages

Share these messages among your partner networks and with your colleagues, family, and friends.

Be Antibiotics Aware logo

#BeAntibioticsAware

CDC recognizes that research is essential to discover both more effective ways to implement proven stewardship practices as well as new approaches. CDC will continue to support research efforts aimed at finding innovative solutions to stewardship challenges.

Messages for Patients
  • Antibiotics can save lives. When a patient needs antibiotics, the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects and antibiotic resistance.
  • Antibiotics do NOT treat viruses, like those that cause colds, flu, or COVID-19. Other medications, like antivirals, can treat viruses.
  • Antibiotics are only needed for treating certain infections caused by bacteria, but even some bacterial infections get better without antibiotics. Antibiotics aren’t needed for many sinus infections and some ear infections.
  • An antibiotic will not make you feel better if you have a virus. Respiratory viruses usually go away in a week or two without treatment. Ask your healthcare professional about the best way to feel better while your body fights off the virus.
  • When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still cause harm. Side effects range from minor to very severe health problems. When you need antibiotics for a bacterial infection, the benefits usually outweigh the risk of side effects.
  • Taking antibiotics can contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. If antibiotics and antifungals lose their effectiveness, then we lose the ability to treat infections, like those that lead to sepsis.
  • If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
  • Talk with your healthcare professional if you develop any side effects, especially severe diarrhea, since that could be a Clostridioides difficile (difficile or C. diff) infection, which needs to be treated immediately.
  • Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning hands by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; staying home when sick; and getting recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.
  • Antibiotics aren’t always the answer. Everyone can help improve antibiotic use. Improving the way we take antibiotics helps keep us healthy now, helps fight antimicrobial resistance, and ensures that these life-saving antibiotics will be available for future generations.
Messages for Outpatient Healthcare Professionals (HCPs)
  • You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed. Remind your patients that antibiotics are only needed to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, not viruses like those that cause COVID-19.
  • Talk to your patients about why they don’t need antibiotics for a viral respiratory infection, what to do to feel better, and when to seek care again if they don’t feel better.
  • Always prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time.
    • Using the shortest effective duration of antibiotic therapy is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy. The goal is to optimize the treatment of the infection while minimizing the risks of side effects from antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance.
  • Talk to patients and their families about possible harms from antibiotics, such as allergic reactions, C. difficile and antimicrobial-resistant infections.
  • Educate your patients and their families to recognize the signs and symptoms of worsening infection and sepsis, and to know when to seek medical care.
  • If sepsis is suspected, gather patient information and immediately communicate it to hospital healthcare professionals. Antibiotics should be started as soon as possible when sepsis is suspected.
Messages for Inpatient & Long-term Care HCPs
  • You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed.
    • Patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria should not be treated with antibiotics in most cases.
    • Antibiotics are only needed to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, not viruses like those that cause COVID-19.
  • Optimizing the use of diagnostic tests is critical for improving treatment of conditions like sepsis and stopping the spread of infections, including those caused by COVID-19.
  • Always remember to prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time.
    • Reassess antibiotic therapy to stop or tailor treatment based on the patient/resident’s clinical condition and diagnostic test results as appropriate.
    • Use of the shortest effective duration of antibiotic therapy is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy. Optimizing duration of therapy, especially in care transitions, is an important target for improvement.
Messages about Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Antibiotics can save lives, but any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Antimicrobial resistance happens when germs, like bacteria and fungi, develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health.
  • More than 2.8 million antimicrobial-resistant infections occur in the United States each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. (See CDC’s antibiotic resistance website).
  • In addition, 202,600 cases of Clostridioides difficile occurred in 2019 and at least 11,500 people died.
  • Antimicrobial resistance does not mean the body is becoming resistant to antibiotics; it means bacteria that live in and on our bodies develop the ability to defeat the antibiotics designed to kill them.
  • When bacteria become resistant, antibiotics cannot fight them, and the bacteria multiply.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant infections can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant germs can quickly spread across settings, including communities, the food supply, healthcare facilities, the environment (e.g., soil, water), and around the world. Antimicrobial resistance is a One Health problem—the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment (soil, water).
Newsletters

How to use: Insert the following pre-approved content into your newsletters, blogs, and other publications.

Article for Targeting Patients/Families
CDC advises patients and their families to Be Antibiotics Aware [PDF – 1 Page]

Article Targeting Healthcare Professionals
Be Antibiotics Aware: Protect your patient [PDF – 1 Page]

Social Media

Copy and paste these social media messages. Use #BeAntibioticsAware, #AntimicrobialResistance, and #USAAW22 in any messages you share.

Repost CDC social media messages about Be Antibiotics Aware. Visit @CDCgov, @CDC_AR and @CDC_NCEZID on Twitter, and CDC’s FacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram pages.

Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter Sample Posts

Facebook

  • Don’t ask for #antibiotics to treat viruses, like those that cause colds, flu, or #COVID19. Instead, ask your #HCP or #pharmacist how to feel better. https://bit.ly/3rKkb7M #BeAntibioticsAware #USAAW22
  • #BeAntibioticsAware helps #patients, caregivers, families, and #healthcare professionals improve antibiotic prescribing and use. Learn more. http://bit.ly/2JPGrZd #USAAW22
  • Have a #virus (cold, #flu)? You can feel better without #antibiotics. Ask your #healthcare professional or #pharmacist about the best way to feel better while your body fights off the virus. https://bit.ly/3rKkb7M #BeAntibioticsAware #USAAW22
  • Parents/caregivers: Have a sick child? Antibiotics aren’t always the answer. Use the right tool: http://bit.ly/3G3aqdL#USAAW22 #BeAntibioticsAware
  • #Antibiotics are critical tools for treating life-threatening infections, like those that can lead to #sepsis. Any time antibiotics are used, they can contribute to #AntimicrobialResistance. Protect yourself from infections & preserve the power of antibiotics: https://bit.ly/ProtectYourselfAR #USAAW22 #BeAntibioticsAware
  • We’re proud to be a #BeAntibioticsAware partner for U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week! Learn how you can participate: https://bit.ly/3042qDw #USAAW22

 

LinkedIn

  • Healthcare Professionals: Remind your patients that antibiotics are only needed to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, not viruses like those that cause COVID-19. https://bit.ly/3k6EfOe
  • HCPs: Be antibiotics aware by talking to your patients about why they don’t need antibiotics for a virus. https://bit.ly/3BRx1pl
  • Healthcare Professionals: Protect your patients. Remember to prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time. https://bit.ly/3k6EfOe
  • Healthcare Professionals: Talk to your patients about when antibiotics are and aren’t needed, and discuss possible side effects such as C. diff, allergic reactions, and antimicrobial-resistant infections. CDC has resources to help you educate your patients. https://bit.ly/3BRx1pl

 

Twitter

  • #Antibiotics aren’t needed for and won’t help treat colds, #flu, or #COVID19. #BeAntibioticsAware and talk to your #HCP: https://bit.ly/3l8KFyd #USAAW22
  • Being #antibiotics aware = knowing that antibiotics aren’t needed for many #sinus infections and some ear #infections. https://bit.ly/3mWYGyv #BeAntibioticsAware #USAAW22
  • During U.S. #AntibioticAwareness Week, #BeAntibioticsAware and learn when #antibiotics are needed and when they’re not. https://bit.ly/3l8KFyd #USAAW22
  • When #antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still cause harm. Learn more. https://bit.ly/3l8KFyd #BeAntibioticsAware #USAAW22
  • Taking #antibiotics only when needed is one thing you can do to help fight #antibioticresistance. https://bit.ly/3l8KFyd #USAAW22 #BeAntibioticsAware
  • Anytime #antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to #AntimicrobialResistance. #BeAntibioticsAware! https://bit.ly/3l8KFyd #USAAW22
  • We’re proud to be a #BeAntibioticsAware partner for U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week! Learn how you can participate: https://bit.ly/3042qDw #USAAW22
Global Twitter Conversation for World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Join the conversation! On November 18, 2022, CDC and our global partners will tweet throughout the entire day sharing information on how we all can combat antimicrobial resistance using the hashtags #WAAW and #AntimicrobialResistance.

While partners will be tweeting all day long, CDC will be tweeting from 11 a.m. – noon from our @CDC_AR, @CDCgov, and @CDC_NCEZID handles.

Additional CDC Resources

Antibiotics Quiz

Stewardship Report

Core Elements

Spanish Resources

Information for patients on antibiotic use and resistance in Spanish (Recursos educativos para pacientes y profesionales de atención médica.)

Antibiotic Stewardship Training

This interactive web-based activity contains four sections designed to help physicians optimize antibiotic use to combat antimicrobial resistance and improve healthcare quality and patient safety.

CDC’s Antibiotic Stewardship Training Series

Information on specific topics related to antimicrobial resistance

Sepsis Resources