Number of antibiotic prescriptions also up and officials warn against giving leftovers to friends and family

Giving leftover antibiotics to friends and family risks fuelling a surge in infections resistant to the drugs, officials have warned, as data shows a rise in related cases in England – with people of Asian heritage at greater risk than those who are white.

While severe antibiotic-resistant infections – such as bloodstream infections, UTIs, surgical site infections and respiratory infections – remained below 2018 levels last year, the latest estimates suggest there was a 4% rise between 2021 and 2022, from 55,792 to 58,224. The uptick follows a notable decline during the height of the Covid pandemic.

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