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C.difficile causes problems in care homes10th of April 2012
C.difficile spreads not only in hospitals but also in other healthcare settings, according to US health officials.
A new report reveals that 50 per cent of hospital patients with C.difficile infections were already infected on admission after having contracted it at another care facility such as in a nursing home, doctor's office or clinic.
This means that the risk of the infection spreading in hospitals is increased due to the large number of infected patients being transferred there, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
C.difficile is linked to around 14,000 deaths in the US every year says Ileana Arias, principal deputy director of the CDC. "This failure is more difficult to accept because these are treatable, often preventable deaths," she said. "We know what can be done to do a better job of protecting our patients."
The predominant sign of C.difficile infection is diarrhoea which can cause dehydration. Other symptoms include fever, nausea and loss of appetite.
The CDC states that C.difficile infections can be reduced if healthcare workers follow simple infection control precautions such as prescribing fewer antibiotics, washing their hands more often and isolating infected patients.
These and other measures have reduced C.difficile infections by 20 per cent in hospitals in Illinois, Massachusetts and New York, according to the CDC, while in England these infections have been cut 50 by per cent in three years.