Walz declares Antibiotic Awareness Week in Minnesota

(ABC 6 News) – Governor Tim Walz proclaimed Nov. 18 to 24 “Antibiotic Awareness Week” in Minnesota.

In celebration of Antibiotic Awareness Week, on Friday, Nov. 17, the Lowry Avenue Bridge, I-35W Bridge and Capella Tower in the Twin Cities will light up purple to honor to honor U.S. antibiotic awareness.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, more than 100 health processionals in public, human, veterinary, agriculture and environmental protection fields work together as the Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative. The coalition promotes “judicious antibiotic use” to “reduce the impact of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.”

The group also provides accessible information for the Minnesota public on antibiotics.

The state formally recognized the collaborative in 2023, garnering financial support from the state legislature.

“Minnesota has long been recognized as a national leader in promoting the appropriate use of antibiotics with its unique One Health approach,” said Kristen Clark, the Minnesota Department of Health’s new director of MOHASC. “This funding from the legislature will support further cross-sector and multi-agency collaboration.”

According to the Department of Health, all Minnesotans play a part in keeping antibiotics effective, especially during cold and flu season. According to the Department of Health, antibiotics can become less effective as usage rises and bacteria become more resistant to antibiotics.

Here’s how you can help:
• Reduce the need for antibiotics by avoiding infections. Wash your hands properly, cover your cough, stay home if you are sick, and stay up to date with recommended vaccinations.
• Do not ask for antibiotics if your health care provider (including your dentist) thinks they are unnecessary.
• When you are prescribed antibiotics, take them exactly as directed and for the full amount of time directed.
• Only take antibiotics prescribed for you; do not share or use leftover antibiotics.
• Do not save antibiotics for your next illness. Properly dispose of any leftover medication as soon as the prescribed course of treatment is completed. Information on proper disposal of medication can be found at Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: Don’t flush medicines down the drain.