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Hospitalizations And Deaths From C Diff Increasing: Historically High, Unacceptable Levels Says Cdc
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Hospitalizations And Deaths From C Diff Increasing: Historically High, Unacceptable Levels Says Cdc

The number of people who are being forced into hospitals or worse, dying from a controllable, treatable bacterium has reached "historically high" numbers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency also called the recent numbers for outbreaks involving clostridium difficile or c. difficile "unacceptable". According to gathered data, around 14,000 people die each year from this infection which is completely treatable if it is found and treated early.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that nearly all of these infections are connected to some type of medical care setting which can include hospitals, doctors offices, nursing homes and other clinical settings. Infections are typically transferred from one place to another when a patient is either not correctly diagnosed before transfer or when the proper precautions are not put into place during transport. But, only one quarter of the infections are developed in the hospital with the majority of the remainder contracting the infection in nursing homes and doctor's offices.

Clostridium difficile is a bacterium which can develop into spores. The spores themselves are expelled from the body or transferred to surfaces on the hands and can live their for months. Generic antibacterial wipes are not strong enough to kill these spores. The people most likely to become infected by the condition are those who are already sick or have recently completed a round of antibiotics for conditions including pneumonia. Fifty percent of the people who get the infection are younger than sixty five years of age, however, nearly all of the deaths caused by c. difficile are in people who are older than sixty five.

Doctors warn that the symptoms are often confused for other, lesser ailments, at least at first, but anyone who has been at a hospital or long term care facility and shows the common symptoms should be evaluated for the infection. Those symptoms include: diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, belly pain and tenderness. Washing your hands after every time you toilet is key to reducing your risk of developing these types of infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also warns that physicians are prescribing too many antibiotics needlessly. By estimate, nearly half of all antibiotics that are prescribed for illnesses in the US could have been avoided. Antibiotics destroy the good bacteria in the body which keep these infections in check which is why your risk of c.diff infection goes up immediately after a round of antibiotics. That increased risk can last for months until your body readjusts its internal flora.


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