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Antibiotic Resistance: Expert Q&A With the CDC

What are some steps the public can take to push back at antibiotic resistance?

Hicks: Be informed when an antibiotic is needed. Don't insist on an antibiotic when going to your health care provider. If you have a nasty cold, it's important to drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, maybe use over-the-counter products. It's very important for patients and health care providers to work as a team to develop alternatives when an antibiotic isn't needed. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your health care provider. It's reasonable to ask why an antibiotic wasn't prescribed.

Patients can also play a role by staying up to date on vaccines and taking care of themselves. Hand washing can prevent the spread of infections.

Reviewed on November 23, 2010

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