Thursday, July 16, 2009

Clostridium difficile

As the Courier-Journal reports, there's yet another scary new bug on the loose, and Kentucky is sixth in the nation for outbreaks of it:

Cheryl Keplinger nearly lost her life to a germ some doctors are calling the next big bacterial threat — Clostridium difficile. The 54-year-old Simpsonville, Ky. nurse suffered diarrhea for 19 days before being told she might need to have her appendix, gall bladder and part of her colon removed after she contracted the dangerous infection caused by bacteria known as C. diff...

Typically tied to hospitalization or antibiotic use, the infection is rising dramatically. As many as 3 million Americans a year suffer diarrhea, inflammation of the colon and other problems because of C. diff, which some doctors say is beginning to rival the staph infection MRSA as a deadly superbug...

A study in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control showed the state had the sixth-highest rate in the nation among hospitalized patients, with 21.8 per 1,000, compared with 10.7 per 1,000 in Indiana and 13 per 1,000 nationwide.

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