U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week November 18-24

Emergency Preparedness; Life Safety; Education

The U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW) will take place next week, November 18-24. The purpose of USAAW is to raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic and antifungal use and the threat of antimicrobial resistance.  

Long term care professionals can support USAWW by learning about the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. For example, did you know that: 

  • You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed. 
  • Patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria should not be treated with antibiotics in most cases. 
  • Antibiotics are only needed to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, not viruses like those that cause COVID-19. 
  • Optimizing the use of diagnostic tests is critical for improving treatment of conditions like sepsis and stopping the spread of infections. 
  • Always remember to prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time. 
  • Reassess antibiotic therapy to stop or tailor treatment based on the patient/resident’s clinical condition and diagnostic test results as appropriate. 
  • Use of the shortest effective duration of antibiotic therapy is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy. Optimizing duration of therapy, especially in care transitions, is an important target for improvement. 

For more information and ways to engage, see the U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW) toolkit​