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.”