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Antibiotics Fact or Fiction Quiz

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1 Antibiotics Fact or Fiction Quiz
The data provided in this presentation is taken from the 2014 Ipsos MORI survey on use, knowledge and attitudes about antibiotics.

2 Antibiotics can kill viruses
True or False? Antibiotics can kill viruses FALSE Antibiotics can only be used to treat bacterial infections due to the different structures of bacteria and viruses. Antibiotics work by targeting specific parts of the bacteria, e.g. the cell wall, or only parts of the ribosome that are found in bacteria, and therefore are only effective against bacterial infections.

3 In a survey 1,625 people were asked, which of the following conditions, if any, do you think can be effectively treated by antibiotics? The data shows that 77 % of respondents knew that antibiotics can effectively treat bacterial infections however there was still misconception about their wider use.

4 Understanding also varied with age.
In the age category, misconceptions about antibiotic use was generally higher than those aged 25 and above.

5 You don’t need to finish a course of antibiotics if you are feeling better
FALSE Taking an antibiotic incorrectly increases the risk of the bacteria in your body developing antibiotic resistance. If you do not complete the course the infection may also not be completely killed. You should always take antibiotics as instructed by the nurse or doctor and ensure you complete the course. Not taking the correct dose (one or two capsules a day instead of three) means you get less antibiotic in the area of the infection. These lower concentrations can encourage the multiplication of resistant strains.

6 Of the 1,625 respondents, 79 % knew that you must always complete a course of antibiotics, even if you are feeling better. Of those who took antibiotics in the last 12 months (449 respondents), only 74 % of year olds completed the course as prescribed.

7 Left over antibiotics can be saved for use at a later date
FALSE You should not have any leftover antibiotics if you complete the course as prescribed, however if you do, take the unwanted antibiotics to a pharmacy to be disposed of safely.

8 This number is much higher in 15-24 year olds
The majority of respondents either completed the course or disposed of leftover antibiotics, however 11 % said that they keep any leftovers for personal use in the future. This number is much higher in year olds

9 You should not share antibiotics
TRUE Each antibiotic that is prescribed is personal to you and specific to your type of infection. Therefore antibiotics taken for one infection, will probably not work for another.

10 This number is higher in
1 % of respondents said they gave leftover antibiotics to other family members. This number is higher in 15-24 year olds

11 For 15-24 year olds, the figure was higher:
Out of 542 people who had taken an antibiotic in the last 12 months, 20% were not prescribed – these must have been leftovers or shared antibiotics. For year olds, the figure was higher: Proportions of those who were prescribed an antibiotic

12 Taking antibiotics weakens your immune system
FALSE Most antibiotics do not negatively affect your immune system, so do not reduce your ability to fight off future infections. Antibiotics are designed to target bacteria, by directly killing them or slowing their growth. The body does not become resistant to antibiotics. It is the bacteria that become resistant through genetic mutations.

13 Of the 1,625 people surveyed, 50% believed that antibiotics weaken the immune system, and a further 28% were unsure. Similar results were seen for the year olds: 44% 32% 24% This suggests a lack of knowledge of the ways in which antibiotics work.

14 Healthy people carry antibiotic resistant bacteria
TRUE Antibiotic resistant bacteria can be carried by healthy or ill people. Antibiotic resistant bacteria can be passed on easily to others through contact (sneezes and coughs), everything we touch or even our poo! It is everyone’s responsibility to help control antibiotic resistance.

15 The survey showed that 45 % of respondents understood that healthy people could carry antibiotic resistant bacteria. However, the majority, 55 % cumulatively, did not know or disagreed with the statement. 51% 38% Knowledge was slightly lower in the year olds.

16 Here are a few more questions to test your knowledge….

17 Antibiotic use in animals is causing most of the antibiotic resistance seen today
FALSE The use of antibiotics in animal feed to promote growth has been banned in the EU since 2006, due to concerns about increasing antibiotic resistance. Increasing scientific evidence suggests that antibiotic resistance in humans is primarily the result of antibiotic use in people, rather than in animals.

18 Antibiotic use in hospitals is causing most of the antibiotic resistance seen today
FALSE Hospitals are not responsible for the high antibiotic use in humans. In 2013, 79% of all antibiotics consumed were prescribed in the community, by your GP. Only 15% were prescribed by hospitals, with 6% from other community prescribers such as dentists.

19 Washing my hands helps to reduce antibiotic resistance
TRUE Hand washing is the most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection. Antibiotic resistance bacteria can spread from person to person just as any other type of bacteria would. This includes through skin to skin contact and by touching surfaces where bacteria are present. Antibiotic resistant bacteria can spread more easily in hospitals, as many patients are having complex treatments which require many different staff to be involved. Hand washing is therefore particularly important in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

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