What do sinusitis, most sore throats, bronchitis, runny noses and the regular cold have in common? They are upper respiratory tract infections usually caused by viruses, which can′t be cured with antibiotics. Yet, each year, health care providers in the U.S. prescribe tens of millions of antibiotics for viral infections. The North Carolina Quality Center, an initiative of the North Carolina Hospital Association, in cooperation with the NC DHHS Division of Public Health and Capitol Broadcasting has launched a statewide public awareness campaign to educate healthcare consumers on the pros and cons of antibiotics.
FOX 50 Director of Local Sales Niel Sollod, MIX101.5’s Local Sales Manager Katie Phillips,and CBC New Media Digital Sales Manager Chris Weatherly developed a multi-faceted campaign “Get Smart About Antibiotics” that will kick off November 17th and run through March 2015 on CBC television and radio stations in Raleigh-Durham and Wilmington and on the web on CBC Audience Network and WRAL.com statewide.
Former WRAL producer Christian McIlwain, Creative Director of Fourth Rule Films, produced two public service announcements, one featuring children speaking to adults and another that features an animated “Mr. Pill.” In addition to the television and radio PSA’s, CBC’s New Media Group created the landing page “NCgetSmart.org” where healthcare consumers and decision makers can get more information on the issue.
Sollod and Phillips worked with NC Quality Center’s Executive Director Dr. Carol Koeble several years ago on a similar campaign that educated expectant moms about the importance of going to full term in a healthy pregnancy. NC39weeks was so effective, Dr. Koeble knew that Capitol Broadcasting could deliver again on this new vitally important health concern; the overuse of antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve and are able to outsmart antibiotics, making even common infections difficult to treat. Every year, as many as 10 million U.S. children risk side effects from prescriptions for conditions that can’t be cured with antibiotics.
“Our goal is to begin the conversation between a doctor and patient,” said Carol Koeble, M.D., director of the NC Quality Center. “It’s important to know when an antibiotic is necessary. The truth is, for viruses like the flu, an antibiotic can do you more harm than good.”
The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) consider antibiotic resistance to be one of the greatest threats to human health worldwide.
Each year, more than 2 million Americans get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and 23,000 die as a result. Terms like C diff and MRSA have become commonplace in hospitals and physician offices across North Carolina. According to a landmark CDC report from September 2013, the overuse of antibiotics is a significant factor fueling the problem.
Sollod said, “Turns out that there has not been a new one (antibiotic) developed since the 1980’s. If we don’t ‘Get Smart’ about antibiotics and continue to use them as a cure-all for every illness, new drug resistant infections will grow. We’ve proven that spots on TV, radio and ads on the web can change all kinds of behaviors, not just sell cars, hamburgers and political candidates. We can be proud that Capitol Broadcasting continues to set the bar on innovative public service campaigns like this that improve the lives of our viewers.”
Find out more about the Get Smart about Antibiotics campaign at http://www.ncgetsmart.org
Thanks to FOX 50’s Niel Sollod for this capcom story & graphic.