Clostridium difficile or C. difficile is a potentially deadly infection that had become associated with hospital patients. However, a new report by Clayton Dalton, MD and Massachusetts General Hospital, indicated that C. diff rates are rising in the community outside of health care settings which is a serious public health concern.
C. difficile is a common bacteria that exists in the natural environment. Risks increase when using antibiotics which can kill some normal and “good” gut bacteria along side treating infections. When this happens, the normal processes that prevents C. diff from spreading gets overwhelmed and the C. diff starts producing toxins in the intestines. Hospitalization and health care settings also became associated with acquisition since a larger number of infected people were located in these environments.
Over the last 30 years multiple studies have increasingly shown higher and higher rates of community-acquired infections. According to the the new report traditional risk factors no longer offer a satisfactory explanation for the increase in C. diff infections.
Clostridium difficile can be transmitted through fecal matter and poor hand washing hygiene which then spreads the spores to everyday objects.
Dr. Dalton’s paper also considers other factors that could be causing the rise in these infections. One terrifying possibility is that we’re simply becoming more susceptible due to our diets and other medications which may promote Clostridium difficile growth.
Prevention for Facility Managers and Individuals
- Thorough cleaning: Spores can survive many cleaning solutions, to target Clostridium difficile effectively use a cleaner containing chlorine bleach.
- Wash with Soap and Water: Alcohol based hand sanitizers are not effective, soap and water is a better solution.
- Reduce Antibiotic use: Only use antibiotics in necessary situations.
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Dangerous Infection Tied To Hospitals Now Becoming Common Outside Them
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