Increasing C-Diff Superbug Outbreaks in SE US: Antibiotic-Immune
A new study shows increases in C-Diff outbreaks in the southeast US. Both MRSA and C-Diff are resistant to common antibiotics.
C-Diff or Clostridium difficile is a bacteria that attacks the colon and intestines. Outbreaks are often seen in patients on antibiotics. Deaths from the bacteria were once considered rare. In the past 10 years, the illness seems to be growing more resistant to antibiotics and infecting a higher number of young people.
Cases of MRSA have been a common threat in past years to residents of hospitals. MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus resistant to the antibiotic methicillin. A MRSA infection can look like a single red bump that resembles a pimple or boil. It may also look like a cluster of red bumps and have pus or other drainage.
This MRSA antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria or superbug can lead to death if contracted into the bloodstream. It is most commonly contracted by those patients with a weakened immune system.
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C-Diff Infection Rates On the Rise
The new study looked at infection rates from community hospitals in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in 2008 and 2009. It found the rate of hospital-acquired C-diff infections was 25 percent higher than MRSA infections.
C-diff sickens about 500,000 Americans a year, contributing to 15,000 to 20,000 deaths, The epidemic strain has been found in 38 states.
American Medical Association's journal, reported that there were an estimated 95,000 people who contracted serious MRSA infections in 2005, 18,650 of which resulted in death.
Fortunately, the cases have been decreasing over the years. This is most likely due to heath provider awareness of the infection, and better sanitation practices.
Superbug Preventative Measures
C-diff is difficult to kill with most conventional household cleaners or alcohol-based hand sanitizers, so measures that typically reduce the number of MRSA infections are not as effective for preventing C-Diff.
- Only take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor.
- Be sure to clean your own hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
- If you are in the hospital, be sure your doctors, nurses and visitors all wash their hands with soap and water before and after their visit.