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SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday has warned the public and healthcare providers against misuse of antibiotics. “Misuse of antibiotics is responsible for alarming levels of antibiotic resistance in Kashmir valley,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communiqué. “More than 70 percent of antibiotics prescribed are either given unnecessarily or used improperly,” he said. “You go to a doctor with cold or flu; you will walk away with a prescription for antibiotics,” he said.

“Every time you have fever, you are given an antibiotic. Every fever is not because of infection and does not require an antibiotic. Antibiotics find their way in prescriptions for viral diarrheas, sore throats, ear and sinus discharges,” he added. Dr Nisar said the misuse has assumed serious proportions due to widespread over the counter sale of antibiotics.

Chemist shops give antibiotics for everything from malaise, fatigue, body aches to headache. He said farmers are using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in animals that are otherwise healthy. Dr Nisar said in hospitals patients are given antibiotics without appropriate testing to match their bacterial infection.

“Inappropriate and irrational use of antibiotics has turned Kashmir hospitals into breeding grounds for deadly bacteria that are resistant to all antibiotics. More than 80% of the bacteria are resistant even to last resort antibiotics.” “Patients are dying of simple infections as no antibiotic works. We are kind of back to the era of not having antibiotics,” he said. “With no antibiotics, cancer chemotherapy, organ transplantation and simple surgery will become impossible and we are facing a future where cough or cut can kill once again,” cautioned Dr Nisar.

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