Study adds more evidence of antibiotic overuse in COVID-19 patients

A new analysis of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States during the first 6 months of the pandemic shows that more than half resulted in a patient receiving an antibiotic. The study by researchers with the Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project, also found that more than a third of admissions resulted in a patient being prescribed multiple antibiotics. But only 29% of those admitted with the virus were diagnosed as having a bacterial infection. The findings of the study, which is the largest study to date on antibiotic use in US COVID-19 patients, add to the growing body of research on antibiotic prescribing during the early months of the pandemic. Studies to date have estimated that anywhere from 55% to 98% of hospitalized COVID patients around the world were treated with antibiotics, while only a fraction had a bacterial co-infection that would require their use. This has led to widespread concern about unnecessary antibiotic use during the pandemic.
 

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