Friday, May 30, 2008

Sometimes I find things like this a bit scary

VIA CNN (click link to read entire article):

Intestinal superbug infects more each year

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- 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.

"The nature of this infection is changing. It's more severe," said Dr. L. Clifford McDonald, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert who was not part of the study.