Antibiotics cannot cure COVID. They don’t help a bit. And yet, new data shows that, during the pandemic, COVID patients were given antibiotics – a lot of antibiotics.

That’s bad because the overuse of antibiotics can breed superbugs that are resistant to medications. The impact of this pandemic overuse has lingered even as the pandemic has faded.

So how did this unfortunate turn of events come to be? A series of new reports and papers shed light.

Globally, about 75% of patients hospitalized with COVID were given antibiotics, despite only 8% having a bacterial coinfection where antibiotics would be medically useful. This comes from new data published in late April that was collected through the World Health Organization’s Global Clinical Platform in 65 countries between January 2020 and March 2023.

Read the article in NPR