40% of respondents say they have taken antibiotics in the past year, over a third took them for a viral infection like a cold or the flu;
95% of these obtained them through a medical prescription and/or administration by a medical practitioner;
53% of those surveyed think that antibiotics are able to kill viruses. This misconception is particularly common in the 15-24 age group;
However, 62% of those who received this information did not change their opinion on antibiotics.
In 2001 the Council adopted a Recommendation on the prudent use of antimicrobial agents and a first progress report was presented in 2005. The second implementation report adopted on 9 April shows progress in several areas. All reporting countries have implemented a surveillance system for antimicrobial resistance and almost all respondents have national systems for the surveillance of antimicrobial use and antibiotic consumption. Furthermore:
eighteen countries report that the selling of antibiotics without a medical prescription was not a significant source of misuse of antibiotics;
several countries have added anti-microbial resistance in medical school curricula and some have launched awareness raising campaigns;
inter-sectoral cooperation in implementing the national strategies on the prudent use of antimicrobial agents (participation of the Ministries of Health, medicine agencies, hospital and ambulatory sectors, pharmacists, etc.) is increasing.
The Commission is stepping up its action on antimicrobial resistance by increasing cooperation between its services, so that all aspects of this threat are addressed. In addition, the Commission will continue to raise awareness on the appropriate use of antibiotics by supporting the Member States and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in making European Antibiotic Awareness Day a success. For further information, please visit: