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Amid rising worries over antibiotic resistance, a new study suggests the drugs were overprescribed to patients during the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic, raising fresh concerns about efforts to avoid the spread of so-called superbugs.

In 96% of the cases, antibiotics were given to patients before a bacterial infection was confirmed. To wit, a first antibiotic was prescribed at the time of admission or within the first 48 hours of hospitalization. Yet such prescribing implies a degree of guesswork, since it can typically take 48 hours or more to confirm a bacterial infection, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts, which conducted the analysis.

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