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Wimmera Health Care Group has joined the world-wide battle to help antibiotics keep working.

This week is Antibiotic Awareness Week which aims to promote the importance of antibiotics and educate people how they can help keep antibiotics strong in the battle against bacteria.

Infection control co-ordinator Jan Spencer said the World Health Organization has warned that antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health today.

"Australia has one of the highest prescription rates globally, with around 29 million prescriptions issued each year," Mrs Spencer said.

"The reality is that antibiotics are losing their power. Antibiotic resistance is a serious health issue already present in our community. Without antibiotics, infections that were once easily treated may once again kill."

Mrs Spencer said people can help preserve the power of antibiotics using antibiotics responsibly.

"Five things people can do to reduce antibiotic resistance include; not asking for antibiotics for colds and the flu as they have no effect on viruses; understanding that antibiotics will not help me recover faster from a viral infection; only take antibiotics in the way they have been prescribed; understand that it is possible to pass on antibiotic resistant bacteria to others; and make a greater effort to prevent the spread of germs by practicing good hygiene," she said.

Wimmera Health Care Group has a display in the hospital’s main entrance promoting Antibiotic Awareness Week and the importance of the drugs.

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