As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of this crisis is already being felt across many public health issues. We have seen routine immunization paused, cancer screening delayed and depression levels soaring, and it could be the emergence of Drug-resistant infection One of the health effects of most widespread concern is one that public health experts have warned for decades.
Many are concerned that the Coronavirus, COVID-19, may fuel this trend, according to the “Medical Health” website’s report, How COVID-19 can accelerate drug resistance.
1. Health care systems extended before the pandemic:
Many hospitals have been working hard to implement diagnostic and antibiotic supervision programs, to avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics and ensure effective patient care. These protocols include taking blood samples to confirm the diagnosis before prescribing antibiotics to patients.
Reports from some hospitals found that during the early stage of the crisis, it was not always possible to follow these diagnostic protocols or monitor them as strictly as they were before the pandemic. So some patients may receive antibiotics unnecessarily, while others will not receive the most appropriate treatment.
2. Increase the use of antibiotics
Although antibiotics are not effective against viruses, healthcare providers are advised to prescribe them to critically ill Covid-19 patients to prevent and treat serious secondary bacterial infections.
However, there are reports that patients with mild symptoms of Coronavirus have also been prescribed antibiotics in some hospitals. A review of COVID-19 cases, mostly in Asia, found that more than 70% of patients received antimicrobial treatment, even though fewer than 10% had secondary bacterial or fungal infections.
And the same study finds repeated use of broad-spectrum antibiotics – designed to kill a wide range of bacteria – which can induce drug resistance if used too often.
3. Changes in infection prevention and control in hospitals
The spread of COVID-19 has increased community awareness of personal hygiene and environmental pollution, but some hospitals have had to ease some measures preventing the spread of drug-resistant infections.
Measures such as grouping non-coronavirus patients into smaller wards could have unintended consequences by facilitating the spread of drug-resistant infections.