Living through this pandemic has reiterated how important it is to regularly wash our hands, prepare food hygienically, take extra precautions when caring for loved ones, and keep vaccinations up to date.

These precautions not only help to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but play a part in addressing a potentially larger, looming pandemic – antibiotic resistance.

Despite knowledge of antibiotic resistance being at an all-time high – with 70% UK adults aware of the issue in 2020 compared to 46% in 2019 – and one in four (25%) believing responsibility to solve the issue lies with the individual, almost half (45%) don’t know how they can tackle it.

This is why, this Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18 – 24th November), a “Change the Course” report has developed by a taskforce of experts from Antibiotics Research UK, research fellows from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, behavioral psychologists, game doctors, and pharmaceutical company, Pfizer UK, to outline the various steps that can be taken.

These steps include:

  • Familiarise yourself with the guidelines on antibiotic prescribing that inform the advice given by your healthcare professional
  • If prescribed antibiotics, talk to your healthcare professional and ask any questions you might have about the length of your course or how to take them correctly
  • Never share or use leftover antibiotics – instead, hand them into your local pharmacy where they can dispose of them responsibly. If antibiotics end up in our environment or water supply this is another path by which bacteria can become resistant
  • Find out how antibiotics are used in food production
  • Make your voice heard by speaking out about this issue and share concerns with your MP, local councillors, and community leaders