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Appeal for proper use of antibiotics

Health authorities have urged people to use antibiotics correctly to ensure they can continue to combat disease.

The appeal came as Switzerland joined the first European Day of information on antibiotics on Tuesday.

Although the Swiss are among the lowest consumers of antibiotics internationally, Switzerland is facing a growing number of bacterial diseases against which antibiotics are less effective.

Health officials are particularly concerned that new infections from resistant bacteria are leading to a deadlock in therapy for certain illnesses.

The day is a European Union initiative in collaboration with the World Health Organization and major health and medical science organisations.

It aims to inform the public of the risks associated with inappropriate use of antibiotics, such as use without medical prescription or in treating viral infections. The course of treatment prescribed by doctors needs to be followed until the end, even if health improves, officials say.