LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Arkansas Department of Health is discouraging people from using antibiotics if they want to protect their health in the long-run.
We've all grown accustomed to going to the doctor when we are sick, and leaving with antibiotics. But the Arkansas Department of Health, under the direction of the CDC, is now saying that way of thinking could be dangerous.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its policy when it comes to healthcare-acquired infections and antibiotic use in pediatric settings. Essentially, they remind doctors and the public not every condition requires an antibiotic, and over prescribed antibiotics can cause people to come antibiotic resistant, which can lead to death.
Dr. Gary Wheeler with the Department of Health said it's going to take a whole new way of thinking to make their mission of using less antibiotics successful.
"There's not many of us that are old enough to remember when we didn't have antibiotics, but when we didn't have antibiotics, the graveyards were full of people who succumbed to infections. If we are not careful, and use appropriate stewardship of those resources that we have, then we will be in big trouble,” Dr. Wheeler said, adding a lot of common fall and winter illnesses don't require an antibiotic.
He encourages patients to think about that when they pick up a cold or sinus infection this fall. Rather than reaching over the medical counter, he said focus on rest. And to prevent sickness, be sure to wash your hands and cover your mouth.