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Study: Lesser-known germ (C-diff) a bigger threat than MRSA

Posted Mar 21 2010 11:54am
Study: Lesser-known germ (C-diff) a bigger threat than MRSA

A dangerous, drug-resistant staph infection called MRSA is often seen as the biggest germ threat to patients in hospitals and other health care facilities. But infections from Clostridium difficile -- known as C-diff -- are surpassing MRSA infections, the study of 28 hospitals in the Southeast found. Clostridium difficile or “C. diff.” C. diff. killed more patients in England in 2006 than MRSA. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a nearly twofold increase in C. diff infections from 1996 to 2003 in the U.S. The same hyper-virulent strain, dubbed ribotype 027, has invaded some hospitals in the U.S. C. diff. infections killed an estimated 5,000 people in the U.S. per year, the CDC reports. C-diff, also is resistant to some antibiotics, is found in the colon and can cause diarrhea and a more serious intestinal condition known as colitis. It is spread by spores in feces. The spores are difficult to kill with most conventional household cleaners or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Clostridium difficile has been causing trouble for several years. The mortality rate from this disease is rising. Outside of hospitals and nursing homes, it is only found in the gastrointestinal tracts of about 5% of the general population. Other "good" bacteria usually keep C.diff from getting out of control. However, in hospitals and nursing homes that is not always the case. When a patient is put on antibiotics, the balance of bacteria is affected, and C. diff. may take control, causing severe, watery diarrhea. When any trace of the watery diarrhea, comes into contact with another person's mouth, this dangerous bacteria is spread. The only serious answer is proper sanitation and cleaning of hands and contaminated materials.

It seems amazing to me that it is so hard to get a safe and far more effective cleaner approved for use to save people's lives in this Country.
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