Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Avoiding a post-antibiotic era

27 May 2015

Avoiding a post-antibiotic era

The annual cold and flu season has begun and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (‘the College’) is reminding everyone that antibiotics are not a cure-all for the winter sniffles.

“Antibiotics simply don’t work against viruses. Most people’s immune systems can fight viral infections, and antibiotics are only necessary if someone develops a secondary bacterial infection,” says the College’s Medical Director Dr Samantha Murton.

In its newly released policy brief Antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance: avoiding a post-antibiotic era, the College outlines the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and some simple actions to tackle the process of antimicrobial resistance.

“Overuse of antibiotics is the leading cause of antimicrobial resistance”, says Dr Murton.

“The discovery of antibiotics transformed the treatment of infectious diseases. Sadly, their overuse means they are now far less effective against some bacteria than they used to be.”

Together GPs and patients can ensure that antibiotics are prescribed and used only when necessary.

Good hand hygiene reduces the chance of spreading infection and a flu vaccination can protect against the most likely strains of flu virus circulating this winter.

If a patient is sick with a virus, it is appropriate for GPs to recommend symptomatic relief such as plenty of fluids, a healthy diet, throat gargles and nasal decongestants, and a medical certificate for time off work when this is appropriate.

GPs may give patients a delayed or “back-pocket” prescription to fill later if there has been no improvement, as this has also been found to be effective in reducing antibiotic use.

“We all need to protect the effectiveness of the antibiotics we currently have, so that when you really need them, they still work” says Dr Murton.

The policy brief on antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance is available at


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Reserve Bank: RBNZ To Implement $30bn Large Scale Asset Purchase Programme Of NZ Govt Bonds

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to implement a Large Scale Asset Purchase programme (LSAP) of New Zealand government bonds. The negative economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak have continued to intensify. The Committee ... More>>


Elevate NZ: Venture Fund To Lift Productivity

The Government’s new $300 million venture capital fund - announced in last year’s Budget – is now open for business as the Elevate NZ Venture Fund. Finance Minister Grant Robertson says lifting New Zealand's productivity requires well-functioning ... More>>


COVID-19: Case Confirmed In NZ – Expert Reaction

After spreading across the globe for months, the first case of COVID-19 has been reported in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health says the risk of a community outbreak is low, due to their preparedness and the high awareness of the disease. The Science ... More>>


Agriculture: New Legislation To Boost Organics

New organics legislation will boost consumer confidence and help grow an innovative sector, says Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Organics Product Bill, introduced to Parliament this week, aims to increase consumer confidence when purchasing ... More>>


Biodiversity Policy: Misinformation Circulating

Forest & Bird is concerned at misinformation circulating regarding a policy statement aimed at protecting New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. The National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity is being consulted on by the ... More>>