Move over MRSA, C.diff is Here
Posted on September 17, 2008 Comments (4)
Clostridium difficile (C.diff), a bacteria, is increasingly posing health risk. Rising Foe Defies Hospitals’ War On ‘Superbugs’
Many patients get C. diff infections as an unintended consequence of taking antibiotics for other illnesses. That’s because bacteria normally found in a person’s intestines help keep C. diff under control, allowing the bug to live in the gut without necessarily causing illness. But when a person takes antibiotics, both bad and good bacteria are suppressed, allowing drug-resistant C. diff to grow out of control.
Only 3% to 5% of healthy, non-hospitalized adults carry C. diff in their gut, but that rate is much higher in hospitals and nursing homes, where carriers can spread the bacteria to others. Studies at several hospitals in recent years have shown that 20% or more of inpatients were colonized with C. diff, and a 2007 study of 73 long-term-care residents showed 55% were positive for C. diff. Even though the majority had no symptoms of disease, spores on the skin of asymptomatic patients were easily transferred to the investigators’ hands.
Related: C.diff deaths double in two years – Killing Germs May Be Hazardous to Your Health – Bacteria Survive On All Antibiotic Diet – Articles on the Overuse of Antibiotics – Good Germs – Clay Versus MRSA Superbug