According to a new paper published in the American Journal of Infection Control, an increase in everyday hygiene reduces the risk of common infections by 50 per cent. Thus, it brings down the necessity of antibiotics by 30 per cent too. Antimicrobial resistance claims numerous deaths per year, hence health experts all across the world are asking for home and community hygiene to become a strategy to combat the same.
The paper has been developed on behalf of the Global Hygiene Council. It has delved deeper into the relevance of community and personal, home hygiene and the way in which it could impact antibiotic resistance. One of the studies conducted for this paper indicated that there was a 30 per cent reduction of antibiotic prescriptions in a group that used hand sanitisers. Moreover, the prescriptions considered were all for a common respiratory infection.
The need for the maintenance of personal hygiene arises from the increase of multidrug-resistant bacteria in communities. A cause of concern is that almost 35 per cent of common healthcare infections are resistant to antibiotics. It indicates that treatment from such infections could become even more complicated, especially in low-income countries where almost 90 per cent of infections are resistant to antibiotics. It takes away approximately 2000 lives per day, across the world.
Jean Yves Maillard is the lead author and Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University. He remarked, “In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and evidence presented in this paper, it is more urgent than ever for policymakers to recognise the role of community hygiene to minimise the spread of infections, which in turn will help in reducing the consumption of antibiotics and help the fight against AMR.”
There is sufficient evidence to proclaim the importance of personal and community hygiene. With the devastating effects of COVID-19 across the world, it is apparent that countries should collaborate on an international level to create awareness about the necessity of hygiene and the way in which it could aid one to battle small infections and even possibly a pandemic-causing virus.