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There was overuse of antibiotics during COVID — WHO report

World Health Organisation (WHO) says new data shows that there was overuse of antibiotics during COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, which exacerbated silent spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

WHO Unit Head for Surveillance and Laboratory division for AMR, Dr Silva Bertagnolio, says the highest rate of antibiotic use was seen among patients with severe or critical COVID-19, with a global average of 81%.

He quickly adds that the antibiotic use did not improve clinical outcome for patients with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Clinical Microbiologist from Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, David Kulapani, has told MBC Digital that overuse of antibiotics has other side effects, ranging from nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions and neurologic problems.

Kulapani further says that overuse of antibiotics also leads to shortage
of the drugs, which deprives people who really need them an opportunity to access them.

The World Bank estimates that AMR could result in $1 trillion additional healthcare costs by 2050.

AMR occurs when bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial medicines.

By Alufisha Fischer

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