Get smart about antibiotics

November 17, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s top doctor, Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, visited Penn State on Nov. 17 to talk about antimicrobial resistance (ABR) to an audience of Penn State students.

In the United States alone, antibiotic resistant infections cause 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year, said Levine as she talked about the "Get Smart About Antibiotic Resistance" program.

The program's initiatives include:

— Hand washing demonstrations in daycare facilities;

— Educating parents as to what symptoms indicate a need for antibiotics and what do not;

— Arming pharmacy students with knowledge about ABR to disseminate to the community;

— Increasing vaccination rates among all members in communities, particularly daycare workers; and

— Evaluating current and proposed practices for prophylactic and post-procedure antibiotic prescribing in dental practices as well as children’s hospital settings, particularly in cases of acute appendicitis.

Levine said doctors and patients could help stop the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

"This is really a call to action for providers,” she said. “I’m the Physician General, I’m the state’s doctor, you should get your flu shot. That’s my prescription.”

antimicrobial resistance-Dr Levine

Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Physician General, visited Penn State's Bennett Family Center on the morning of Nov. 17. Levine read a book to a group of daycare students entitled "Katie Caught a Cold."

IMAGE: Patrick Mansell

As part of the event, Levine read the book “Katie Caught a Cold” to a group of Bennett Family Center children, who had already been learning about good hygiene and the need to wash their hands. Then she used a black light to demonstrate how germs spread.

antimicrobial resistance-hand washing

Following a story, read by Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, the children at the Bennett Family Center showed what they learned about how to wash their hands thoroughly.

IMAGE: Patrick Mansell

She also read a proclamation from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, declaring Nov. 16-22 as Get Smart About Antibiotics week.

Last Updated November 23, 2015