Health Tip: Antibiotic Resistance Is Dangerous

(HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way to survive despite a person's use of an antibiotic.

Antibiotics are medications that fight a specific bacterial infection.

Resistance may result when an antibiotic is over-prescribed, when it's inappropriately prescribed for an viral illness (such as the common cold), or if a person stops taking an antibiotic before the entire prescription is used.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the dangers of antibiotic resistance include:

  • Resistant bacteria can be spread to friends, family members and coworkers.

  • Resistant bacteria can affect entire communities with illnesses that are expensive and difficult to treat.

  • Resistant infections can target people with weaker immune systems -- such as babies, young children and older adults.

  • Some infections can be deadly.

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