I cannot begin to count the number of moments I have had patients request antibiotics for some conditions that do not qualify for antimicrobial treatment. The most common request comes around flu season for a shot of a common injectable antimicrobial; it becomes harder with time to educate patients at every visit and more often than not it is a lot easier when patients inform each other and become advocates for themselves. Antibitiotic resistance is a problem that surpasses a single patient, as it involves the broader population and one being affected can cause problems for an infinite number of individuals; we call this a public health issue. The problem is so rife that a report by the British government claims that there will be a death brought on by antibiotic resistance every three seconds until the year 2050. So, what exactly is an antibiotic and how is antibiotic resistance created? An antibiotic is a drug that helps to fight infections caused by bacteria, commonly prescribed by healthcare professionals for urinary tract infections, pneumonia and skin infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when these bugs gain superpowers and are no longer affected by antibiotics that could initially kill them. This is a problem because a superbug that can’t be destroyed is created and this bug can spread like wildfire in schools, homes and at the workplace causing severe and long-lasting illness in large amounts of the population. These superbugs are challenging to treat, are expensive to manage and introduce new factors into the global burden of disease. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uploaded a short video to describe how antibiotic resistance occurs. How to reduce the rate of superbug spread Use only antibiotics prescribed to you – that means stay away from Grandmas medicine cupboard when you’re ill and go see an actual health care professional.Complete the course of antibiotics as directed by a medical professional and try not to skip any doses – even when you start feeling better, and there are ten big pills left to swallow. Do not demand antibiotics from your doctor – your health care professional understands which conditions require antibiotics, allow them to guide you accordingly. Try to prevent infection or spread within the home, at school or work – try to maintain hygiene at all times, attend to illness promptly and stay way from work or school when ill. Do not use antibiotics for viral or parasitic infections – your health care professional will be able to help you identify which infections are bacterial and whether they require antibiotics Let your health professional know that you know about this problem and do not wish to contribute to the spread.Educate your friends and family after reading this. Public health issues are best conquered by everyone doing a bit of the work; healthcare professionals can only advocate for patients to a certain extent. Let us own our health and improve the lives of our families, friends and colleagues by sharing the correct information. Cure begins with prevention!