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Trends in knowledge of antibiotic use in Europe

The European Commission has released the results of a new Eurobarometer study on the public knowledge of antibiotics and overall trends in antibiotic use. Around one in three respondents have taken antibiotics during last year and 43 % are aware that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses. One in five respondents, who used antibiotics took them for flu or cold. Although diagnostic testing can help to guide the effective use of antibiotics, still only 41 % said that they had a test for example blood or urine or throat swab to find out the cause of their illness before or at the same time as antibiotics were prescribed. The findings show that practices in terms of antimicrobial use vary from country to country throughout Europe and there is room for improvement.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), cited recently that estimatedly 33 000 deaths occur each year due to antimicrobial-resistant infections in Europe.

The EU has stood at the forefront of addressing antimicrobial resistance over the last 15 years. Actions with different stakeholders are needed to improve public awareness of the role antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance.
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