Wednesday 12/8/21
HEALTH

EU agency says use of antibiotics declined in Europe during pandemic

One reason could be that fewer people went to the doctor because of the Covid-19 pandemic
pills-drugs-antibiotics-by-Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

The use of antibiotics declined in Europe in 2020, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Overall, consumption of the drugs, which are used to treat bacterial infections, fell by more than 15%, the EU agency said in a statement on Thursday.

One reason could be that fewer people went to the doctor because of the Covid-19 pandemic and so fewer antibiotics were prescribed, the ECDC said.

Another cause could be that there were fewer respiratory infections that were not triggered by the coronavirus - as a result of people wearing face coverings, keeping their hands cleaner and social-distancing.

However, European health authorities warned that levels of antibiotic resistance remained high. Therefore, it recommended further reducing any unnecessary use of these drugs.

'A silent pandemic'

"Antimicrobial resistance is a silent pandemic that is happening here and now," said Stella Kyriakides, EU commissioner for health and food safety.

"Lives are lost because medicines no longer work and we need to step up global action, urgently."

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