(HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way to survive despite a person's use of an antibiotic.
Antibiotics are medications that fight a specific bacterial infection.
Resistance may result when an antibiotic is over-prescribed, when it's inappropriately prescribed for an viral illness (such as the common cold), or if a person stops taking an antibiotic before the entire prescription is used.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the dangers of antibiotic resistance include:
- Resistant bacteria can be spread to friends, family members and coworkers.
- Resistant bacteria can affect entire communities with illnesses that are expensive and difficult to treat.
- Resistant infections can target people with weaker immune systems -- such as babies, young children and older adults.
- Some infections can be deadly.
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