Simple Measure Could Help Address Public Health Threat

Sep 21, 2011, 12:25 PM

Antibiotic prescriptions tend to spike during flu season, even though influenza is caused by a virus and cannot be treated with antibiotics, according to a new study from Extending the Cure, a Pioneer-supported project that examines policy solutions to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. In the study, authors Phil Polgreen and Ramanan Laxminarayan offer a simple solution to the problem: Get your flu shot this year.

Laxminarayan describes the study findings and calls on health care administrators to get their hospital workers immunized in a Modern Healthcare op-ed, co-authored with U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess, and is joined by experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in urging consumers to get their flu shot in another guest commentary in the Health Care blog.

Let us know what you think – can something as simple as getting a flu shot help curtail the misuse of antibiotics? Are there other counterintuitive solutions to this problem we haven’t thought of yet?  

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.