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Safe use of antibiotics Script - video

1 February 2013

Safe use of antibiotics

Around us

there are different bacteria and viruses

that can make us sick

There are specific drugs for specific diseases

like antibiotics and antiviral drugs

Using the wrong drug cannot cure the diseases

it may also lead to serious outcome
That’s why you must
use the right drug for the disease

So, what types of diseases are caused by bacteria?
What are caused by viruses?

Bacteria are very different from viruses
They cause different types of diseases

Examples of bacterial infections are

Examples of bacterial infections are

Escherichia coli         Urinary tract
(E.coli)             infection

Escherichia coli may cause
urinary tract infection or diarrhoeal disease

Streptococcus       Chest infection
                  Middle ear infection

Streptococcus pneumoniae may cause
chest infection and middle ear infection

Staphylococcus aureus      Skin and soft
tissue infections

Staphylococcus aureus may cause
skin and soft tissue infections

Examples of viral infections are

Examples of viral infections are

Rhinovirus      Cold


Influenza virus,      Influenza
e.g. H1N1, H3N2 

influenza (flu)

Enterovirus      Hand, foot and
                 mouth disease

hand, foot and mouth disease

Varicella-zoster virus      Chickenpox

and chickenpox

Should we use antibiotics to treat
bacterial infections and viral infections?

Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections

They are useless against a cold and the flu!

Like all drugs
antibiotics have their uses
but they may be harmful!

What are the risks?

Side effects and infections due to resistant bacteria


Common side effects include






or diarrhoea


and headache

Some people will suffer from allergic reactions

such as rashes

Skin itchiness

skin itchiness


and even breathlessness if severe

When there are allergic reactions

you should bring the drugs
to consult a doctor right away!
If proven that you are allergic to the drug

the doctor will issue a record card
which you should bring along
whenever you visit a doctor

The other risk is
infections due to resistant bacteria


When taking antibiotics to treat bacterial infections

they also kill the normal bacteria in our body

increase the chance of
acquiring resistant bacteria

Infections due to resistant bacteria

Infections due to resistant bacteria
are very difficult to treat

Data in recent years show that
resistant bacteria have increased

to a point of endangering public health

We must use antibiotics smartly!

That’s right!
When taking antibiotics
the following points should be noted

Not all infections require antibiotics
When feeling unwell
you must consult a doctor
Let the doctor decide the treatment for you
and see if antibiotics are needed

Follow health professionals’ instructions closely
if antibiotics are needed

If feeling unwell after taking antibiotics
consult a doctor at once

To prevent infections due to resistant bacteria
one must enhance personal hygiene
when taking antibiotics

Keep your hands clean

Drinking water must be fully boiled
Food must be thoroughly cooked

Disinfect and cover any wounds

Wear a mask
if there are symptoms of respiratory infections

Avoid contact with other children
if a child has symptoms of infection

Doctor, I would like to ask a few more questions
Should I take antibiotics when I have a fever?

Fever can be due to many causes
it may not be due to bacterial infection

Consult your doctor first
Let him decide whether antibiotics are needed

Should I take antibiotics
if the nasal discharge turns yellow or green?

Nasal discharge can become thickened or change colour
when you have a cold or the flu
This is not necessarily a bacterial infection

If I have similar symptoms as before
can I take the same drugs?

Having similar symptoms
does not mean that you have the same disease
You must consult a doctor when feeling unwell!
Never self-medicate especially antibiotics!

I see!

Good, let me summarise

1. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections,
but they do not work for a cold or the flu

2. Consult a doctor first, let him decide if antibiotics are needed

3.  Antibiotics kill normal bacteria in our body,
increase the chance of acquiring resistant bacteria

4.  Enhance personal hygiene when taking antibiotics

If you have questions
on taking antibiotics or other drugs
you must ask your doctor during consultation