Caution against the “misuse” of Antibiotics: Experts

In general, more than 90% of illnesses manifested by fever are viral infections and need no antibiotics, he added.

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PATNA: In the wake of the Omicron threat, health experts are worried over the increasing and indiscriminate misuse of antibiotics, which has not only been weakening gut immunity but also making people incapable of fighting viral infection.

Expressing his grave concern over the growing misuse of antibiotics, especially during the current C-19 pandemic, Dr. Satish Kumar of the NMCH medicine department pointed out that antibiotics are not effective against viruses and, overall, they are widely overprescribed.

Even people having viral fever are unnecessarily given antibiotics. Even in cases of common bacterial infections, people are using high doses of antibiotics, which make bacteria drug-resistant in the long run.

He said no new antibiotics have appeared during the last decade and the older ones are gradually becoming ineffective for drug resistant bacteria.

Dr Kumar further pointed out that many people are also allergic to different groups of antibiotics and, hence, these should not be prescribed without ascertaining the case history of patients properly.

In general, more than 90% of illnesses manifested by fever are viral infections and need no antibiotics, he added.

Joint director of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Cardiology (IGIC), Dr. A K Ashu, said unwarranted use of antibiotics has been endangering the survival of human beings as bacteria are fast becoming drug-resistant.

Prolonged consumption of antibiotics has been weakening people’s immunity and children are becoming the greatest victim of overuse of drugs.

People with weak immunity are more likely to catch all types of infection, both bacterial and viral. A time will come soon when there would be no drug available in the world to treat the bacterial infections, he warned.

Noted paediatrician Dr Arun Shah said more than 7 lakh people die of bacterial infections in the world every year as most bacteria have become drug-resistant. This is simply due to the excessive use of antibiotics, even for minor ailments.

Antibiotics are not required in 80 to 90% of the diseases, but even then people are consuming them on the advice of some quacks or medicine sellers.

There were no antibiotics 80 years ago and even then people were cured of their various diseases. The discovery of antibiotics had certainly come as a boon for the ailing humanity but, over the years, its excessive use has endangered our lives.

The ever-increasing drug resistance has already triggered a panic throughout the world and crores of people with compromised immunity would lose their lives if they are infected, he warned.

Aryabhatta Knowledge University medicine faculty dean Dr. Rajiv Ranjan Prasad pointed out that during the second wave of the C-19 virus, many people died after getting infected with black fungus.

This was mainly due to the overuse of antibiotics and steroids by people infected with C-19 virus. The medical fraternity must be cautious of the over prescription of antibiotics to the people in the wake of the Omicron threat, he added.

Dr Uday Krishna Jha observed that unnecessary use of antibiotics, as well as over-the-counter drugs, may disrupt gut health.

They can prove effective only when they are used in the right context and in proper doses. He said that antibiotics should not usually be taken in case of viral infections.

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