Federal government warning about antibiotic use in Kansas

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Stephanie Avila went to a local doctor for a urinary tract infection. 

“I went in there with the intent to get some antibiotics and they refused and I thought, I have to start work here in a couple of days and I can’t be really sick,” said Avila. 

State health officials are encouraging doctors to prescribe antibiotics more appropriately, as Kansas ranks high in the number of prescriptions doctors write for patients.

“We have the potential of entering the post-antibiotic era,” said Justin Blanding, a Microbial Resistant Epidemiologist at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

Governor Jeff Colyer declared Nov. 12 to Nov. 16 “Use Antibiotics Wisely Week”, after a request from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

The idea isn’t to stop the use of antibiotics, but to prescribe them more appropriately. 

“Antibiotics can save lives and they are critical tools in the treatment of bacterial infections,” said Stormont-Vail nurse practitioner Mary Roy. 

But Roy says antibiotics are not always the right choice. 

“Antibiotics do not affect viruses,” said Roy. “Sinus infections, bronchitis are oftentimes viral in nature and what we have learned is that approximately 30% of all antibiotics that are prescribed on an outpatient basis are unnecessary.” 

KSNT News asked KDHE why the total number of antibiotic prescriptions written in Kansas ranks higher than other states and they did not know.
 

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