Calls for use of antibiotics in Portsmouth and surrounding area to be reduced

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A NEW campaign is urging people to only take antibiotics when they are needed.

Public Health England has launched its Keep Antibiotics Working campaign as use of the drugs when they are not needed can see infections become resistant to them.

People are being urged not to ask for antibiotics

People are being urged not to ask for antibiotics

Figures from Public Health England show, since April this year, 30,240 antibiotics have been prescribed or 144.6 per 1,000 people in Portsmouth.

This figure is in line with the national average of 144.3 per 1,000 people.

The area covered by Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has seen 25,632 antibiotic prescriptions given out or 129.1 per 1,000 people.

For south eastern Hampshire CCG, 26,440 prescriptions for antibiotics had been given out or 125.4 per 1,000 people.

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which in turn cannot be easily treated with antibiotics.

Dr Anand Fernandes

Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, such as meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses, such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves.

Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria to become resistant.

A report by the health body reveals that as antibiotic resistance grows, the options for treatment decrease.

Dr Anand Fernandes, consultant lead for antimicrobial resistance for Public Health England south east, said: ‘Antibiotic resistance is not a distant threat, but is in fact one of the most dangerous global crises facing the modern world today.

‘Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which in turn cannot be easily treated with antibiotics.

‘Without urgent action from all of us, common infections, minor injuries and routine operations will become riskier.

‘Our Keep Antibiotics Working campaign helps to explain the risks of antibiotic resistance to the public.’

It is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections.