<I>C. diff</I> outbreak kills two patients
November 3, 2010
HAMILTON, CANADA — A facility-wide outbreak of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) has infected at least 16 patients and killed two at St. Joseph''s Health Care facility, according to The Spectator.
There has been no traceable pattern to the outbreaks that span seven wards of St. Joseph''s Charlton Avenue East campus; public health officials have just begun investigating the incidents, the story stated.
All of the infected patients are elderly and 14 of the 16 cases were contracted within the hospital, the story noted.
According to the story, the hospital staff are working to reduce the outbreak by enforcing strict hand washing, placing patients in isolated rooms that are cleaned twice a day and having all staff and visitors meeting with patients wear gloves and gowns.
Dr. Chris Mackie, associate medical officer of health at St. Joseph''s, said two important steps the hospital has introduced as a result of the escalating infections are using a higher level disinfectant to kill the C. diff spores and avoiding the use of more high-risk antibiotics, the story added.
According to health officials, it is too early to know when the outbreak will be over, but typical outbreaks last one to two months.
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