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PHE updates guidance on managing common infections

Public Health England (PHE) has updated its advice on ’Managing common infections: guidance for primary care’. It has also released (October 23) its latest ESPAUR report on antimicrobial utilisation and resistance.

As antimicrobial resistance becomes more prevalent, the need to ensure that antimicrobial medicines are prescribed responsibly is increasingly vital. A simple, empirical approach to the management of common infections is a good step to ensuring more uniform quality of care, says PHE.

The updated guidance aims to provide a basic outline of such an approach for local adaptation, composed of summary tables covering:

  • Upper and lower respiratory tract infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Meningitis
  • Gastrointestinal tract infections
  • Genital tract infections
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Eye infections
  • Suspected dental infections in primary care (outside dental settings).

As well as revised prescribing guidance for antimicrobials, the update also includes new infections on the list of those for which advice is available, including:

  • Scarlet fever (group A strepococcus)
  • Genital herpes
  • Acne
  • Erysipelas
  • Mastitis
  • Blepharitis.

While PHE discourages major changes to the guidance, the format allows for minor changes to suit local service delivery and sampling protocols.

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