Brits battle antibiotic overuse

January 9, 2008

Britain's health secretary announced a $5.2 million campaign against "superbugs" that asked doctors to lay off antibiotics for viral colds, coughs and flus.

Overuse of penicillin and other antibiotics allows viruses to become drug-resistant, and those drugs can't combat viral infections such as colds and flus, British Health Secretary Alan Johnson said. He asked doctors to adopt "less of a knee-jerk reaction to prescribing," London's The Daily Telegraph said.

The Clean, Safe Care campaign will launch in February and includes additional funds for universal screening of hospital patients for drug-resistant staph infections, the paper said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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