It’s Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, an annual one-week observance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.

The CDC says that each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.

The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human medicine, but up to 50 percent of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed.