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Announcements: Get Smart About Antibiotics Week — November 12–18, 2012

Antibiotic therapy is one of the most important tools available to combat life-threatening bacterial infections. Antibiotics have been so effective that consumers mistakenly seek antibiotics for conditions that do not benefit from antibiotic treatment. Among adults who participated in a recent HealthStyles survey, 38% expressed a desire for antibiotic treatment when seeking health care for the common cold (CDC, unpublished data, 2012). Overuse of antibiotics promotes antibiotic resistance and compromises their effectiveness. Infections caused by resistant bacteria have become more common, and many bacteria have become resistant to multiple antibiotics. Resistant infections are more challenging to treat, lead to more and longer hospital stays, and increase a patient's risk for dying.

November 12–18, 2012, is Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. The observance is a means to raise awareness about the threat of antibiotic resistance and the need to decrease inappropriate antibiotic use. Patients, health-care providers, hospital administrators, and policy makers must work together to employ effective strategies for improving antibiotic use to improve health, save lives, and save money.

CDC's Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work and Get Smart for Healthcare programs are working together to educate consumers and health-care providers in outpatient and inpatient settings about appropriate use of antibiotics. Information regarding appropriate use of antibiotics and how to participate in Get Smart About Antibiotics Week is available at

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