Overuse of antibiotics to treat Covid will cause drug resistance

The Ministry of Health warned that Covid-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics have no therapeutic effect unless infection, abuse or inappropriate use will lead to drug resistance.

Dr. Cao Hung Thai, Deputy Director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Management, Ministry of Health, launched Global Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week, The afternoon of November 18 said antibiotic resistance occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change in a way that disables or reduces the effectiveness of drugs used to treat infections. coincide. This leads to common infections that are more difficult to treat and increases the risk of disease spread, serious illness and death.

According to Mr. Thai, drug resistance tends to continue to increase due to the inappropriate use of antibiotics during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also been warned by the World Health Organization (WHO). Covid-19 is caused by nCoV, so antibiotics have no effect against the virus. Overuse of antibiotics will lead to drug resistance, aggravate the patient’s medical condition and increase treatment costs.

“Some patients are treated with antibiotics, which are treatments for opportunistic infections or complications of superinfection. In these cases, antibiotics must be recommended by a physician, based on the patient’s clinical condition,” said Mr. Thai. However, there are currently no studies on the prevalence of antibiotic use and drug resistance in Covid patients.

Drug resistance occurs when using for viral diseases such as colds, flu, or using prescription drugs prescribed for others, self-made, poor quality drugs, inappropriate prescriptions… Besides, Ineffective infection prevention and control can lead to the development and spread of drug resistance. Therefore, the Ministry of Health urges people to use antibiotics according to the motto “5 right”: Right patient, right medicine, right dose, right route and right time, according to Mr. Thai.

WHO has given Vietnam is in the group of countries with a high rate of antibiotic resistance in the world. While many developed countries still use effective first-generation antibiotics, Vietnam has had to use 3rd and 4th generations. Many types of bacteria are already resistant to antibiotics, in which the percentage of pathogenic E.coli bacteria Gastrointestinal tract and diarrhea increased 40% in the past 10 years.

Global antibiotic consumption has increased over the past two decades, mainly due to increasing use in low- and middle-income countries. In Vietnam, the number of antibiotics sold to the community has doubled compared to 2009. 88% of antibiotics in urban areas are sold without a prescription, in rural areas this rate is up to 91%.

This year, Global Antibiotic Resistance Awareness Week taking place from 18-24/11, choose the message as Responsible use of antibiotics, to call people to take action against antibiotic resistance.

“Antibiotic resistance is a fundamental threat to human health and one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity,” said Dr. Kidong Park, Chief Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam, said at the launch this week.

A baby with bacteremia caused by staphylococci must be treated with antibiotics at the National Children’s Hospital. Photo: Khanh Chi

Dr. Remi Nono Womdim, Chief Representative of the World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Vietnam, affirmed that antibiotics are one of the most important inventions of mankind, helping people to survive the a serious bacterial infection. “However, if misused and used improperly, we can go back to a time like a century ago, under the influence of pathogens and unable to survive even a common infection.” , he said.

WHO predicts that by 2050, the global cost of antibiotic resistance will reach $100 trillion and cause about 10 million deaths each year. The economic consequences of antibiotic resistance are said to be as severe as the financial crisis.

Le Nga