U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW) provides the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic and antifungal use and the threat of antimicrobial resistance across the One Health spectrum. One Health is an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and plants and their shared environment.
Antimicrobial resistance happens when germs, like bacteria and fungi, develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them; germs continue to grow. Resistant infections can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat. Bacteria and fungi do not have to be resistant to every antibiotic or antifungal to be dangerous. Resistance to even one antibiotic can mean serious problems.
In the U.S., more than 2.8 million antimicrobial-resistant infections occur each year. More than 35,000 people die as a result, according to CDC’s 2019 Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Threats Report. If antibiotics and antifungals lose their effectiveness, we lose the ability to treat infections and control these public health threats.
This year, CDC is focusing on the connection between appropriate antibiotic and antifungal prescribing and use and health equity. Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health. Health inequities, resulting from less-than-optimal antibiotic or antifungal prescribing practices, may impact health outcomes and result in an increase in antimicrobial resistance or adverse events in some populations. These disparities can be impacted by socioeconomic factors, such as household income, type of health insurance, access to health care and education level.
“After many years practicing as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist, I had not given much thought as to how antimicrobial resistance relates to health equity. I appreciate the reframing of these enormous issues in this CDC resource (CDC Responds to Antibiotic Resistance Threats through Health Equity). It addresses social determinants of health risk factors that contribute to health disparities and antimicrobial resistance,” shared Carrie Sorenson, PharmD, Quality Improvement Advisor with Great Plains QIN.
Join us – November 18 – 24 – as we recognize the importance of improving antibiotic and antifungal prescribing and use, improving health equity, and slowing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Learn how you can take action this week and throughout the year.
USAAW Activities: Get Involved:
- Use and share CDC’s U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week 2023 Partner Toolkit: includes key messages and social media graphics.
- Check out CDC’s Be Antibiotics Aware Partner Toolkit for antibiotic stewardship resources for human health.
Jump into social media chats on X (formally Twitter):
- November 14, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (CT): The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America; the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Infectious Diseases Practice and Research Network are hosting a live chat on antibiotic prescribing equity. Use #ABXRxEquity and #USAAW23 to join the conversation. @CDC_AR
- November 16, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. (CT): Join @CDC_AR in reposting messages about improving antibiotic and antifungal use and reducing the spread antimicrobial resistance during a Global X Storm. Join the conversation using #WAAW23Xstorm.
- November 18 – 24: Help spread the word with family, friends, and colleagues so they can also get involved. Follow @CDC_AR and repost throughout the week using #AntimicrobialResistance, #USAAW23, and #WAAW.
- Go Purple for AR to show your support for improving the use of antibiotics and antifungals. You can use the following: #GoPurpleforUSAAW, #AntimicrobialResistance or #USAAW23.
Additional CDC Resources:
- Antimicrobial Resistance
- Antibiotic Prescribing and Use
- Priority to Address Health Equity Issues Across Antimicrobial-Resistant Threats
- Experts Discuss Reducing Health Disparities by Improving Antibiotic Use
- Health Equity
- International Infection Control Branch: Detect, Prevent, and Respond to Antimicrobial Resistance
Listen to Our Podcast –Q-Tips For Your Ears
Antibiotic Awareness Week: What are antibiotics, why is antibiotic awareness important and how can we be good stewards when using antibiotics? Knowing when antibiotics are needed and how antibiotic misuse can affect others is key to having antibiotics work when we need them. Take a few minutes to listen and learn more.
Health Equity – What it is and Why it is Important: Health Equity has become a priority and highly talked about topic. Familiarize yourself with what health equity is and learn about some of the different areas that influence an individual or a communities in achieving their best health. Take a few minutes to listen and learn more.