Islanders warned not to expect antibiotics from their GPs

Islanders warned not to expect antibiotics from their GPs

Originally published on ITV News

People in Jersey who have a cough are being told to use over-the-counter medicines instead of expecting antibiotics from their doctors.

Guidance from the States of Jersey suggests that honey or cough medicines should be used.

The advice comes today on European Antibiotic Awareness Day which aims to warn people of the dangers of antibiotic resistance.

Guidance from NICE says that using antibiotics for minor viral illnesses should be avoided, as they are likely to clear up on their own.

The guidance says that coughs are often caused by respiratory viruses which cannot be treated by antibiotics, as they fight bacteria instead of viruses.

But if a cough persists for more than 3 weeks, islanders are encouraged to visit their GPs.

We’re encouraging people to ask their pharmacist for advice or check their symptoms on the NHS choices website.

Honey and cough medicines have some evidence of benefit for the relief of cough symptoms (but honey should not be given to infants under 12 months).

If the cough is getting worse rather than better or the person feels very unwell or breathless then they would need to contact their GP.

This is also the case if a cough persists for longer than three weeks.

It’s important for islanders to know that doctors will prescribe antibiotics only when absolutely necessary, such as when a person has a bacterial infection or is at particular risk of further complications.

Antibiotic resistance is a global problem and the signs tell us this is set to get worse. Resistant organisms are now increasingly common in Jersey, affecting both the community and the hospital.

– DR IVAN MUSCAT, DIRECTOR OF INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL

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