The annual event aims to increase awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and encourage behaviours to stop drug-resistant infections.

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making common infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

Increases in AMR can be caused by misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants along with lack of access to clean water and sanitation.

Dawn Dawson, AMR-SRO for Dorset said “It is a common misconception that antibiotics are available to treat all illnesses, but they are useless against most coughs, sore throats and some colds – so as we approach the winter months we are asking people’s help – don’t immediately ask your GP for antibiotics if you get ill, think about other care such as self-care or ask your pharmacist for advice.

For conditions that can be treated by antibiotics it is important that you complete the entire course and take them as directed. Appropriate use of these medicines now can reduce antibiotic resistance and help ensure antibiotics are available for future generations.”

For more information on AMR visit https://www.euro.who.int/en/media-centre/events/events/2020/11/world-antimicrobial-awareness-week-2020. 

Organisations across the country have made pledges to support the week.

Dawn Dawson has pledged on behalf of Dorset: “I will champion Antimicrobial Stewardship within the Dorset ICS system, working with colleagues and stakeholders across all care sectors to reduce demand for unnecessary antibiotics.”