Do bugs need drugs? Antimicrobial Awareness Week aims to educate and reduce unnecessary antibiotic use

November 23, 2022

EDMONTON - World Antimicrobial Awareness Week runs annually from November 18 to 24 and aims to educate the public and healthcare providers on the prevention of infections and the wise use of antibiotics.

With the increase in respiratory illness amongst children in Alberta, it is more important than ever to take steps to prevent infections and use antibiotics only when they are needed.

While antibiotics are used to treat many infections, the overuse of antibiotics can create antibiotic resistance where bacteria change over time and no longer respond to antibiotic medicine, making infections harder to treat. This increases the risk of outbreaks, severe illness and death.

Antibiotic resistance poses a risk to the health of Albertans and the ability of the health system to respond to common infections. Over the past 10 years in Alberta, resistance to antibiotics used to treat common bacterial infections has been steadily increasing. Proper management of all infections, viral and bacterial, is critical to maintaining the effectiveness of these important medicines.

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and prevent infection is by proper handwashing and learning how germs and infections spread. provides education and information on wise use of antibiotics for healthcare providers, children, parents, schools, daycares, seniors groups, workplaces, and the public.

You can also view The Guide to Wise Use of Antibiotics or talk to your doctor.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.