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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gastrointestinal Infection Deaths More Than Doubled : #C.diff: Hand Hygiene Facts v. Fiction

Noted the New York Times, the US Centers For Disease Control (CDC) says that Clostridium difficile aka C.diff was the root cause of a doubling of US fatalities attributed to gastrointestinal infections during the ten year period from 1997 to 2007.

Aside from the head scratching caused by wondering why the recently-released study is otherwise five years delayed, the spike in visitors to this blog using key phrases "what type of hand sanitizer kills C.diff", "does alcohol kill c.diff?" and similar queries--here's what we know:
1. Alcohol rubs do not kill C.diff.
2. Alcohol rubs do however kill protective skin cells that typically block bad bacteria.
3. Benzalkonium Chloride-based hand sanitizers do not kill protective skin cells and ARE effective against C.diff (veg.)*
4.* "veg." is the "vegetative" strain, one of the two strains of C.diff. Spore-based c.Diff  is the more typical form of c.diff and is transmitted in various ways.

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