Can you imagine a world where antibiotics didn’t work anymore? You shouldn’t have to. But over the past few decades, they’ve been losing their punch. Bacterial strains that are resistant to many types of antibiotics are called superbugs. Sadly, our excessive use of antibiotics is partly to blame. A new video from NIH, Fighting Superbugs, can help you learn more about what you can do to help win this battle.
Superbugs infect over 2 million people across the U.S. each year and kill more than 23,000. Common forms of superbugs include types of tuberculosis, staph infections like MRSA, and gonorrhea.
You can help in the fight against superbugs. First, there’s prevention. Try not to spread infectious bacteria. Wash your hands often. Promote healthy bacteria in your body through exercise and healthy eating.
Your second line of defense is using antibiotics properly. Don’t ask for antibiotics if your doctor doesn’t recommend them—they should only be taken when necessary. Be sure to take them exactly as directed and finish all your medication, even if you feel better.
We can win this fight with prevention, proper antibiotic use, and research. NIH is doing its part by supporting studies of new antibiotics. To learn more about what you can do, watch the video.
Article and video by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), Christen Sandoval, Carol Torgan, Samantha Watters, and Harrison Wein