State health officials are reminding Iowans to only use antibiotics when they’re truly needed. Deputy State Epidemiologist Doctor Ann Garvey says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 50% of antibiotics are unnecessarily prescribed by health care providers for upper respiratory infections like colds and the flu.

“In general, we think there is some over prescribing of antibiotics. That’s why we want to remind folks if a health care provider indicates that their illness is viral in nature, they don’t need antibiotics and antibiotics actually won’t help their illness,” Garvey said. This week (November 15-21) is designated as “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.”

Garvey says using antibiotics for illnesses that don’t respond to such treatment can cause bacteria to eventually become resistant. The C.D.C. calls antibiotic resistance one of the world’s most pressing public health threats.

Visit this site for more info on antibiotic use: