CDC warns against overuse of antibiotics
For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control are ranking drug resistant germs and what they found is not good. Three different types of bacteria are now considered urgent threats.
Two million people get antibiotic resistant infections nationwide each year. 23,000 people die because the antibiotics used to treat them no longer work. Now, the CDC is urging consumers to resist overusing antibiotics. It could save you or your child's life.
At Holliday Park, no one wants to miss play time due to sickness.
But the Centers for Disease Control have a warning for Hoosiers take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary. The CDC says Indiana and the entire country is facing an urgent threat from three drug-resistant "superbugs."
It's a driving concern for Alexis Pearman and her two-and-a-half-year-old son, Brody.
"I think they're overmedicating. I think people are growing resistant and kids start way too young. I think you have to be careful with kids," said Pearman.
Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria that cause infection. But in the process, the so-called "protective bacteria" is zapped too.
Now, there's a call to action.
"Taking a look at what we're doing in Indiana and using it as an opportunity to come together and start addressing this while it's not too late," said Pam Pontones, the State Epidemiologist with the Indiana Department of Health.
She is now urging doctors across the state to prescribe antibiotics more carefully.
According to 2010 data provided by USA Today, Indiana was one of the state's prescribing the most antibiotics, right along with Kentucky and Tennessee.
"Viral infections such as colds and influenza and gastrointestinal viruses, antibiotics are not effective," said Pontones to help clarify what antibiotics should not be prescribed to treat.
"Can you remember the last time he had an antibiotic?" Eyewitness News asked parent Matthew Harris.
"No, no it's been awhile," he said, explaining that he reserves antibiotics to treat more serious illnesses for his three-year-old namesake. "We don't do medicine all that much because I feel that all natural is the way to go."
"If they just have the sniffles or a little cold, you don't need to pop them with everything," added Pearman.
If you have to take antibiotics, experts say use them only as prescribed.