Connecticut officials are urging hospitals and health care providers to curb the overuse of antibiotics. The proliferation of antibiotics has dramatically increased the number of infections resistant to the drug.
In April, the World Health Organization announced that these strains of bacteria can be found in every part of the world, and pose a serious health threat.
Dr. Ulysses Wu, chief of infectious diseases at St. Francis Hospital, said these strains have emerged due to decades of doctors over-prescribing antibiotics. "It has been clearly shown," he said, "that with the introduction of an antibiotic, depending on the organism, an organism will quickly show resistance fairly immediately."
Dr. Jewel Mullen, commissioner of state Department of Public Health, is calling on hospitals and other health care professionals to initiate antimicrobial stewardship programs to cut back on the use of antibiotics.
Dr. Wu said a large-scale reduction of antimicrobials will diminish the number of drug resistant strains of infection. "The thought is," he said, "once you start reducing the antibiotic exposure, that the flora, or bacterial microbiome, in nature, will revert back to what they call its 'wild' state."
The DPH is encouraging health care providers to talk to colleagues about the proper use of antibiotics; adhere to evidence-based, clinical guidelines when prescribing antibiotics; and to talk to patients frankly about the need for antibiotics.