Health Canada about Antimicrobial Resistance
- July 15, 2018
- Posted by: olinsadmin
- Category: Healthy Lifestyle, Medical Insurance Ontario
Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria that cause infections and illnesses. When antibiotic resistance develops, the antibiotics stop working properly or completely fail. Antibiotic resistance can happen naturally, but the inappropriate use of antibiotics is largely increasing the problem. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread easily among people and among animals.
The terms antibiotics and antimicrobials are often used as synonyms, but actually, they have different meanings.
- Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria. They are not useful for treating viral infections like the common cold or flu.
- Antimicrobials kill or slow the growth of many different germs including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, “Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to be one of the most significant public health threats facing the world today. Drug-resistant infections threaten healthcare as we know it, as it erodes our ability to prevent and treat infections. In Canada, although overall rates of AMR have remained stable in recent years, they are still well above levels we saw in the early 2000s. Collective and continued efforts to reduce the rates of AMR and preserve the effectiveness of existing antimicrobials are essential to ensuring our ability to fight infectious diseases.”
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when an antimicrobial drug – an antibiotic, antifungal or antiviral drug – is no longer effective at controlling an infection it was once used to treat. This can cause an increased risk of infection, longer infection times, and a greater risk of death.
The decreasing effectiveness of antimicrobial drugs is having a significant impact on the ability to protect people and animals from infectious diseases. It also has profound impacts on the healthcare system, global trade, agriculture, environment, and health sectors.
The World Health Organization has concluded that inappropriate use of antibiotics in livestock is a key contributor to the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant germs and that the use of antibiotics in animal feeds should be restricted.
Health Canada took a key step forward in protecting Canadians against the increasing risk of antimicrobial resistance. Canadian government strengthens the rules for the importation, sale, and use of antimicrobial drugs in livestock.