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Increase In Antibiotic Resistance

November 4, 2011, 6:07 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Increase In Antibiotic Resistance
SIOUX FALLS, SD - If you go to the doctor for a viral infection like a common cold and expect to be treated with an antibiotic, you may be doing your body more harm than good. Your body could become resistant to the antibiotic.

If you're like three out of four Americans, you don't take your medications properly. While you may think there's no harm in it, Dr. Jennifer Hsu says otherwise.

"We increasingly are running into infections in patients who are hospitalized or are seen in clinics for which we have limited antibiotics to use," Sanford Infectious Disease Specialist Jennifer Hsu said.

Hsu says that's because patients are overusing antibiotics, which can create antibiotic-resistant germs, meaning a medication won't help your sickness.

"It increases the rates of hospitalizations and complications from those infections when we are dealing with limited antibiotic choices," Hsu said.

Antibiotic resistance has become a huge problem not only internationally but here in South Dakota. That's one of the issues a Pediatric Symposium at Sanford is focusing on.

"A cold would be a great example that when people have been sick for a few days and they go to the doctor and are questioning if antibiotics are beneficial, and it's really important for both patients and providers to realize that antibiotics may not be appropriate for all respiratory infections," Hsu said.

It's a message she's trying to pass on to other health care professionals at the symposium. She wants to encourage them to take a second look before prescribing antibiotics. It's something Genetic Counselor Amy Mrock says she'll look out for.

"Maybe their child is a little behind in their developmental milestones and maybe mom was on some medications during the pregnancy or was sick with the flu, and it's always a concern that could that have caused it," Sanford Genetic Counselor Amy Mrock said.

One example is MRSA, which in nearly half of all cases is resistant to the main antibiotic used to treat it.

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