Infographic – Do I need antibiotics?

Summary: 
This is an infographic explaining how antibiotics work against infections caused by bacteria and will not work against infections caused by viruses.
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Antibiotics only work against infections caused by bacteria. They will not work against infections caused by viruses.

Antibiotics are often used to treat bacterial infections, such as:

  • whooping cough
  • strep throat
  • urinary tract infection

Antibiotics are sometimes used to treat infections, such as:

  • sinus infection
  • middle ear infection

Antibiotics make no difference to viral infections, such as:

  • colds and flu
  • sore throat
  • bronchitis/chest cold

Using antibiotics when you don’t need them:

  • can give you side effects (like an upset stomach, diarrhoea, rash) without making you better
  • can cause the bacteria in your body to become resistant to antibiotics
  • might make treating serious infections difficult in the future

Ask your health professional about how best to treat your symptoms if you do not need antibiotics. 

Always consult your health professional if you are worried about your health.

Last reviewed: 
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Last updated: 
Thursday, November 8, 2018

Infographic - How antibiotic resistance can spread

Summary: 
This is an infographic that shows how antibiotic resistance can spread through people, animals and the environment
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This infographic is a circular diagram with pictures linked together by arrows to show how antibiotic resistance can spread between people, animals and the environment.

Antibiotics are given to animals. Antibiotic resistance may develop.

Resistant bacteria spread to humans and other animals through poorly prepared food, close proximity and poor hygiene.

Resistant bacteria spread to the environment and food through water contaminated by faeces or through wildlife. Research into how antibiotic resistance is spread in Australia is ongoing and new information is continuing to emerge. What is happening in other countries may not be applicable to Australia.

Antibiotics are given to a person in hospital or the community. Antibiotic resistance may develop. Resistant bacteria spread to other people through poor hygiene and close proximity.

Resistant bacteria spread to humans and other animals through the environment (water, soil, air).

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change to protect themselves from an antibiotic. The more we use antibiotics, the more chance bacteria have to become resistant to them.

Last reviewed: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Last updated: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Infographic - What you can do

Summary: 
This is an infographic describing six important actions the general public can take to reduce antibiotic resistance.
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Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change to protect themselves from an antibiotic. The more we use antibiotics, the more chance bacteria have to become resistant to them.

  1. Prevent infections by regularly washing your hands and keeping up to date with vaccinations
  2. Prevent food-borne infections by washing fruits and vegetables and cooking food properly
  3. Understand that antibiotics only work against bacteria. They do not work for colds and flus which are caused by viruses
  4. Don’t pressure your health professional for antibiotics if they say you don’t need them, ask about other ways to relieve your symptoms
  5. Only take antibiotics when they are prescribed for you, don’t use or share leftover antibiotics
  6. Follow your health professional’s instructions when you are prescribed antibiotics
Last reviewed: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Last updated: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Infographic - What veterinarians can do

Summary: 
This is an infographic describing four important actions veterinarians can take to reduce antibiotic resistance.
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Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change to protect themselves from an antibiotic. The more we use antibiotics, the more chance bacteria have to become resistant to them.

  1. Pause and consider the need for each antibiotic prescription
  2. Talk to clients about ways to minimise the use of antibiotics
  3. Apply best practice biosecurity and hygiene measures, including antibiotic stewardship plans
  4. Use published therapeutic guidelines, where available
Last reviewed: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Last updated: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Infographic - What health professionals can do

Summary: 
This is an infographic describing six important actions health professionals can take to reduce antibiotic resistance.
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Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change to protect themselves from an antibiotic. The more we use antibiotics, the more chance bacteria have to become resistant to them.

  1. Consider any safe alternatives to an immediate antibiotic prescription
  2. Prescribe in accordance with therapeutic guidelines, and where possible use diagnostics to inform treatment decisions
  3. Talk to your patients about the importance of appropriate antibiotic use and the dangers of antibiotic resistance
  4. Give your patients advice on how to manage symptoms without antibiotics
  5. Apply best practice infection prevention and control
  6. Talk to your patients about how to prevent infections and their spread (e.g. vaccination, good hygiene and hand washing)
Last reviewed: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Last updated: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Infographic - What animal owners can do

Summary: 
This is an infographic describing three important actions animal owners can take to reduce antibiotic resistance.
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Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change to protect themselves from an antibiotic. The more we use antibiotics, the more chance bacteria have to become resistant to them.

  1. Not all sick pets need antibiotics – only give them under veterinary supervision
  2. Help reduce your pet’s need for antibiotics through routine vaccination, a clean environment and good nutrition
  3. Spread the word that people and animals could die because of antibiotic resistance — we all have a role to play
Last reviewed: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Last updated: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Infographic - What agriculture and industry can do

Summary: 
This is an infographic describing three important actions farmers and workers in the agricultural industry can take to reduce antibiotic resistance.
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Description: 

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change to protect themselves from an antibiotic. The more we use antibiotics, the more chance bacteria have to become resistant to them.

  1. Not all sick animals need antibiotics – only use them under veterinary supervision.
  2. Australia is a world leader in minimising antibiotic use in farm animals – help us keep this high standard.
  3. Apply best practice biosecurity and hygiene measures to reduce the need for antibiotics.
  4. Spread the word that people and animals could die because of antibiotic resistance — we all have a role to play.
Last reviewed: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Last updated: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
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