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(41,654 posts)
Thu May 30, 2024, 01:39 AM May 30

How The Covid Pandemic Gave Rise To Superbugs: NPR

NPR, May 29, 2024. Ed.

Antibiotics cannot cure COVID. They don’t help a bit. And yet, new data shows that, during the pandemic, COVID patients were given antibiotics – a lot of antibiotics. That’s bad because the overuse of antibiotics can breed superbugs that are resistant to medications. The impact of this pandemic overuse has lingered even as the pandemic has faded.

So how did this unfortunate turn of events come to be? A series of new reports and papers shed light.

Globally, about 75% of patients hospitalized with COVID were given antibiotics, despite only 8% having a bacterial coinfection where antibiotics would be medically useful. This comes from new data published in late April that was collected through the World Health Organization’s Global Clinical Platform in 65 countries between Jan. 2020 and March 2023. “It's sobering to see these data,” says Dr. Helen Boucher, dean of Tufts Univ. School of Medicine in Boston, who studies antimicrobial resistance and was not involved in the study.

WHO says the antibiotics were often used “just in case” they could help. Boucher says there are likely several factors playing into this.

First, early in the pandemic, clinicians didn’t know much about COVID and were nervous about secondary bacterial infections which can require antibiotics. And 2nd, the hospital personnel who usually were responsible for making sure that antibiotics are used appropriately were instead busy caring for the onslaught of new COVID patients. The data vary around the world. The region with the lowest antibiotic use during the pandemic – 33% – was the Western Pacific region from Australia up to China. The highest use – 83% – was in the Eastern Mediterranean and parts of Africa.

The use also changed as the pandemic progressed. Prescriptions dropped between 2020 and 2022 in Europe and the Americas, while they ticked up in Africa. “In low- and middle-income countries, there was significantly less access to diagnostic tests – and there was less access to vaccination early in the pandemic. The only tool that many of these health care givers might have had were antibiotics,” Boucher says. “That's not an excuse. But it might be an explanation." .. Antibiotic practices during the pandemic reversed progress that had been made before the pandemic. And new data show the impact can still be seen in the number of infections caused by superbugs in U.S. hospitals...


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How The Covid Pandemic Gave Rise To Superbugs: NPR (Original Post) appalachiablue May 30 OP
Covid was misdiagnosed initially. It was a virus. no_hypocrisy May 30 #1
IK, it's a shame antiobiotics were overused early on and this result. appalachiablue May 30 #2
I remember international public health leaders and appalachiablue May 30 #3


(47,134 posts)
1. Covid was misdiagnosed initially. It was a virus.
Thu May 30, 2024, 05:00 AM
May 30

Antibiotics don't do anything for viruses. You need antibodies to fight viruses. That's why a vaccine had to be developed so bodies could manufacture and build up antibodies.

Think about it. When you contract a cold virus, unless it turns into an infection like bronchitis, you don't prescribe antibiotics.


(41,654 posts)
3. I remember international public health leaders and
Thu May 30, 2024, 12:53 PM
May 30

organizations making urgent calls to supply the new Covid vaccines to low income countries.

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