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Deadly C.diff infections increase, prevention efforts vary

Monday, April 8, 2013   (0 Comments)
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Not all hospitals have effective C.diff control


A new strain of C.diff,called NAP1, a virulent bacterium that resists antibiotics and causes severe diarrhea, is partially responsible for increasing infection rates in hospitals, according to the federal  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) The AHRQ reports that in 1993, fewer than 100,000 hospitals stays were associated with C.diff infections.  By 2009, that number had climbed to 3336,000, with 9.1 percent of those stays ending in death. While MRSA and VRE infections have declined in recent years, the bacterium Clostridium difficile—as its name suggests—is hard to control.  Only bleach kills the germs on surfaces, and only soap and water hand washing works. Not all hospitals promote these measures.  Gels and foams are ineffective against C.diff. In addition, because the bacterium is hard to isolate, epidemiologists say, it is almost impossible to track its path through a hospital. 

Read the ScientificAmerican     story by Jessica Wapner.

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