Pills or capsules as a question mark and white plastic bottle
iStock.com/bong hyunjung

5 Things You Should Know About Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Covid-19

AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats today. Explore the facts about the effects of Covid-19 on AMR

Created With Support

There are no antibiotics that can treat Covid-19 because Covid-19 is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections and do not work against viruses.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) change over time and no longer respond to the medicines that once treated them. When we use antibiotics, some bacteria die but resistant bacteria can survive and even multiply. The overuse of antibiotics makes resistant bacteria more common. Therefore, taking an antibiotic when you have a virus does not treat the disease and can actually raise the risk for antibiotic resistance.


A secondary bacterial infection is when a patient has a bacterial infection in addition to a viral infection. Antibiotics have also been used in cases where healthcare providers provided immediate treatment for Covid-19 patients before diagnosis because their symptoms seemed like a bacterial infection. 70% of Covid-19 patients in hospitals received antibiotics despite a low number of bacterial infections among these patients.


The increased handwashing and social distancing, decreased international travel, and masks during the Covid-19 pandemic have limited the number of people getting and spreading infections. Fewer infections decreases the need for the prescription and use of antibiotics, which plays an important role in AMR prevention.


Antibiotic stewardship is the effort to measure and improve how antibiotics are prescribed by clinicians and used by patients. These programs were created to push for better treatment of infections by monitoring and advising healthcare providers on antibiotic prescription and use. With the increase in prescriptions of antibiotics to patients during Covid-19 and the limited hospital resources, less focus has been placed on these regulations.


For more information on AMR, please visit our AMR page.

This resource was created with support from Pfizer Inc.

ADVERTISEMENT
Creative portrait mixed with a hand drawn illustration
iStock.com/LUMEZIA

The Mental and Physical Load of Racial Trauma

The pain of racial bias can have lifelong effects on women’s physical, mental and emotional health

Your Care
woman using a mobile phone indoors
iStock.com/Charday Penn

The Influence of Social Media on Contraception

Online opinions can sway the way we view birth control. Here’s why talking to your healthcare provider is more important than ever.

Sexual Health
Biosimilars Basics

Biosimilars Basics

Biosimilars work the same as biologics, but cost a lot less. Here are some basic facts about these drugs.

Medication Safety

by eMediHealth

☆☆☆☆☆ By eMediHealth ☆☆☆☆☆