For diseases caused by bacteria, doctors may prescribe an antibiotic. Antibiotics kill most bacteria. Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics.
Using antibiotics when they are not needed, for example, for colds and flu – that are caused by viruses – can lead to antibiotic resistance. Using antibacterial hand soaps and antibacterial household cleaners can also lead to antibiotic resistance.
Remember, it is bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics, not you. Even healthy people who have never taken an antibiotic can become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria do not necessarily cause more serious infections than other bacteria.
Get the facts about Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Print this page as featured in the guide book, Sneezes & Diseases: A Resource Book for Caregivers & Parents