Author: Carrie Johnson
Editors: Ada Hagan, Irene Park
Whether you have heard about it or not, antibiotic resistance is a growing threat that affects us all.
For generations, we have benefited from antibiotics to fight bacterial infections that would otherwise threaten our lives. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of antibiotics is increasingly at risk. Bacterial infections resistant to antibiotics already have already taken a significant toll and the severity of the problem is only growing. In the United States, it already costs us over 23,000 lives and an estimated $55 billion each year.
As we head into a new school year and the colder winter months when illness risks seem to rise, the timing couldn’t be better to remind you that everyone (yes, you!) plays a role in combating this growing problem of antibiotic resistance. But first we need to understand the basics of this problem, including the three major factors at play.