Protecting yourself and others

Virus

Protecting yourself and others

Infections

Infections can often be easily prevented by taking some simple precautions

An infection is a disease caused by a virus or bacteria.

Infectious diseases are a major threat to health, prosperity, social stability and security. They account for 41 per cent of the disease burden and infections such as measles and tuberculosis cause millions of deaths around the world each year.

Infections are spread through a variety of ways, including:

  • human contact;
  • infected substances such as food;
  • infected objects such as door handles;
  • by organisms such as mosquitoes or even through the air.

Few medical procedures or treatments can compare with the enormous benefits of immunisation - one of the safest and most cost-effective of interventions.  But many infections can also be prevented through simple actions.

 

Get better without using antibiotics

Antibiotics are important medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic.

They become ‘antibiotic resistant’  so that the antibiotic no longer works. The more often we use an antibiotic, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it. Some bacteria that cause infections in hospitals and other healthcare settings are resistant to several antibiotics.

All colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not work against infections, such as colds, caused by viruses. Viral infections are much more common than bacterial infections.

Get better without using antibiotics - wales.gov.uk (pdf)