We have been captive and worried for months because of a global virus outbreak. However, 92% of Australians do not know the difference between a viral and a bacterial infection .
The survey of 2,217 people highlighted a disturbing lack of knowledge about germs and antibiotics. It further reveals that 13% of Australians mistakenly believe that COVID-19 , a viral disease, can be treated with antibiotics, which only attack bacteria.
Virus and bacteria
More than a third of those surveyed thought that antibiotics would fix the flu or sore throat, while 15% assumed that antibiotics were effective against chickenpox or diarrhea.
While 25% of those surveyed had never heard of antibiotic resistance, 40% admitted to taking antibiotics that did not cure an infection. And 14% had taken antibiotics as a precaution before traveling abroad, even though this was unnecessary and ineffective .
The results are deeply concerning, because people who don’t understand how antibiotics work are more likely to overuse them. This in turn fuels the rise of drug resistant bacteria (also known as ‘superbugs’) and life-threatening infections .
If it weren’t for the Pareto principle, perhaps it would be necessary to sing songs that would lead to the extinction of humanity.