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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gut superbug C.Difficile causing more illnesses, deaths

Gut superbug causing more illnesses, deaths By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer - Wed May 28, 4:03 PM PDT

Provided by: Associated Press
86% of users found this article helpful.

ATLANTA - The number of people hospitalized with a dangerous intestinal superbug has been growing by more than 10,000 cases a year, according to a new study.

The germ, resistant to some antibiotics, has become a regular menace in hospitals and nursing homes. The study found it played a role in nearly 300,000 hospitalizations in 2005, more than double the number in 2000.

The infection, Clostridium difficile, 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. But the spores are difficult to kill with most conventional household cleaners or antibacterial soap.

C-diff, as it's known, has grown resistant to certain antibiotics that work against other colon bacteria. The result: When patients take those antibiotics, competing bacteria die off and C-diff explodes.

This virulent strain of C-diff was rarely seen before 2000.

What many infection control experts are just beginning to appreciate: alcohol-based hand sanitizing gels have NO EFFECTIVENESS against C.diff--and they are embracing the fact that countless independent lab tests have proven that hand sanitizers that incorporate Benzalkonium Chloride as the active ingredient kill C.diff bacteria (veg) within seconds.

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