What you need to know about antibiotic resistance
There's a growing concern over antibiotic resistance. This comes just days after a woman in Nevada died from a super bug.
According to doctors, the woman's condition was believed to be incurable after 26 different antibiotics were tested, and the bacteria she had was resistant to all of them.
A local doctor says that's why there's been a change in their approach to prescribing antibiotics.
According to the CDC 2 million people are infected with an antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year. They say 23,000 people die as a direct result.
Dr. Gail English at the South Bend Clinic says a lot of bacteria are resistant to antibiotics now because of the food industry. She says animals like chickens are often fed food laced with antibiotics.
"Sixty percent of antibiotics in the country are given to animals rather than humans, but on the human side it is a big concern because we do see people with resistant infections," said Dr. English.
Dr. English says antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, and not viral. That's why instead of going to your doctor's office and asking for drugs it might be better to wait it out. But she says there are some situations where antibiotics are absolutely necessary.
"Say you have strep throat, truly strep throat, you really do need antibiotics to get through that safely. But if you have a sore throat and it's a virus, then you don't. So it really depends on infection by infection," said English.
Doctors say there are dangers associated with taking too many antibiotics. You may be allergic and develop a rash or other life-threatening conditions. But if you are prescribed medicine it's best to follow instructions from you physician.
"Usually, if you're prescribed a course of antibiotics, you should take the whole bottle not just half way through, because if you stop halfway through and the you get sick again that bacteria may be resistant," said English.
English says when they assess infections in people they really look at the type.
They ask themselves, does the person have normal immunity? Can they fight it off on their own?
They say it all depends on the individual. That's why they say communication with your doctor is the key.