Poll reveals Americans are woefully uneducated about antibiotic resistance: 5 findings

Antibiotic resistance may be a growing global health concern, but nearly half of Americans have never even heard of the pressing problem, according to a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center poll.

The poll was conducted in June and includes responses from more than 1,000 American adults. Highlighted below are five findings from the poll.

1. Forty-one percent of the survey respondents said they had never even heard of antibiotic resistance.

2. Only half (52 percent) strongly agreed that bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics, so-called "superbugs," are a major public health problem today.

3. Forty-nine percent understand that taking an antibiotic you don't need makes that drug less effective at treating illnesses in other members of the community in the future.

4. Overall, less than half (45 percent) said they are somewhat or very concerned that this problem might affect their family.

5. Also worrisome, more than a quarter (27 percent) of people incorrectly identified antibiotics as an effective treatment for colds and the flu, which are viral — not bacterial — infections.

To read the full Consumer Reports National Research Center report on misconceptions about antibiotics, click here.

 

 

More articles on antibiotics and drug resistance:
TB discovery could help curb antibiotic resistance: 5 things to know
Repeated antibiotic courses can alter childhood development, study shows
Hospitals are using better antibiotics for childhood pneumonia, study finds

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