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Top 10 things you can do about antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem and a significant threat to public health

June 1, 2015

Victoria Fraser, MD, TEDxStLouisWomen Talk

Victoria J. Fraser, MD, head of the Department of Medicine, spoke about antibiotic resistance and its evolution into a public health crisis at the 2015 TEDxStLouisWomen conference, an event that celebrated the impact women have here and around the world.

With a nod to talk show host David Letterman, Fraser, a specialist in infectious diseases, shared 10 things people can do to prevent antibiotic resistance:

  1. Get vaccinated
    Prevent infections by getting vaccinated against bacterial and viral infections.
  1. Don’t ask for antibiotics
    Remember that most colds are caused by viruses and won’t respond to antibiotics.
  1. Ask if you really need antibiotics
    If you are offered an antibiotic prescription, make sure it’s necessary.
  1. Choose antibiotic-free foods
    This can help minimize your exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria and decrease the risk of spreading resistance from livestock to people.
  1. Prepare food safely
    Understand what’s contaminated and how to prevent cross-contamination between uncooked and cooked foods, especially raw meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables.
  1. Stay home when sick
    Don’t try to be a hero – make sure you don’t spread your infection to others.
  1. Practice cough hygiene
    That means covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.
  1. Wash your hands
    This is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of infections.
  1. Teach your kids to wash
    It’s not enough to wash your own hands. Help children learn good behaviors early to prevent transmission of germs.
  1. Remind others to wash
    Ask doctors and nurses if they have washed their hands before caring for you or your loved ones.

Read more about Fraser’s talk in the Washington University Record.

Watch the full talk: