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'Antibiotics, Don't wear me out', leaflet, United Kingdom, 2006

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Antibiotics can be used to treat a wide range of infections. However, some strains of bacteria have now become resistant to antibiotics and as patients we are urged to be cautious about overusing them. Antibiotic-resisting bacteria such as MRSA, causes infections in humans which are difficult to treat. The Department of Health has issued information leaflets on the subject. The leaflet informs people that “most infections get better without antibiotics”, that antibiotics cannot treat viruses, have unpleasant side effects such as vomiting, and can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

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    Glossary: leaflet

    Use for small printed works consisting of one sheet folded and not stitched or bound. For larger printed works, but generally of fewer than 80 pages, often with paper covers, use "pamphlets."

    Glossary: virus

    A tiny particle made up of DNA/RNA and a protein coat. Viruses infect animals, plants, and micro-organisms and cause many diseases, including the common cold, influenza, measles, chickenpox, AIDS, polio and rabies. Many viral diseases can be controlled by means of vaccines.

    Glossary: bacteria

    Micro-organisms which can cause disease but have an important role in global ecology.

    Glossary: antibiotic

    A substance that is used to treat infections.

    Glossary: Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

    Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a dangerous bacterium that is becoming increasingly common. It is resistant to known antibiotics and so is difficult to treat. Hospital patients are at particular risk of infection, as a result of a weakened immune systems or open wounds. Initial symptoms include small red bumps, which develop into painful boils.