When your body aches, your head is stuffy, your throat is sore and you have a fever, hearing “I’m prescribing you an antibiotic” from your doctor is music to your fluid-filled ears. Yet not all illnesses are created equal and sometimes, what ails you just has to run its course.
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CDC recommendations for protecting yourself against antibiotic-resistant infections
Anyone can become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria – anytime, anywhere – but there are things you can do to help prevent the creation and spread of resistance. First, do not demand antibiotics from your doctor when you are sick or take antibiotics that were not specifically prescribed to you. When you are given antibiotics, do not skip doses and be sure to follow the directions about dose and duration.
Second, as with all diseases, practicing basic safety and hygiene methods can go a long way in preventing disease and spreading:
• Get updated and regular vaccinations against drug-resistant bacteria
• Wash your hands before eating and after using the restroom
• Wash your hands after handling uncooked food to prevent ingesting drug-resistant bacteria that can live on food
• Cook meat and poultry thoroughly to kill bacteria, including potential drug-resistant bacteria