This article (photos below) was published in our mainstream Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao on 21st February. A small part of it revolves around the utility of antibiotics for these predominantly viral illnesses – many thanks to my ex-classmate Dr Wan Sin Hoe for providing the public education!

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Scanned images of the Lianhe Zaobao article.

I personally think it is great that such “unattractive” issues get discussed in the public forum.

On a related issue, the annual rates of influenza vaccination is relatively poor in Singapore among both adults and children. Even among healthcare staff – who amongst all people should understand the value of such vaccinations – the uptake in general has been disappointing. We often underrate the utility of vaccines in combating antimicrobial resistance – much of the discussion has been about ensuring appropriate antibiotic prescription, improving infection prevention (hand hygiene, etc) and creating incentives for the development of new antibiotics, for example. But every case of influenza prevented by a very cheap vaccine is one less “opportunity” for doctors to prescribe antibiotics, both in primary care and hospital settings.

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