Fears that patients could be suffering with bacterial pneumonia are driving many clinicians to prescribe antibiotics—only to discover after the fact that the patients’ symptoms are actually due to coronavirus. Those premature prescriptions are now stoking concerns that antibiotic resistance could be on the rise, according to an article published recently by MedPage Today. This all comes on the heels of a report from the General Accounting Office that indicated there has been minimal progress in a federal initiative—hatched before the pandemic took hold—to fight antibiotic resistance. Quoting data that appeared in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the article reveals that 72% of COVID-19 patients in one study received antibiotics, with only 8% later to have a confirmed diagnosis of bacterial and fungal co-infection. With COVID-19 cases plateauing in many areas and flu season being over, this is a good time to refocus our collective attention on the long-term threat of antibiotic resistance. The Urgent Care Association has created a webpage dedicated to urgent care-friendly antibiotic stewardship resources. You can see what it offers here.
Antibiotic Stewardship Is Taking a Beating in the Midst of the Pandemic