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C. Difficile cases ongoing at hospital

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Dec 12, 2012 - 12:11 PM |

Updated 12:35 p.m. on Dec. 13

The Clostridium Difficile outbreak on the sixth level of the south tower at Heath Sciences North has been declared over, said Dan Lessard, media and public relations officer for the hospital.

It was declared over on Dec. 11.

Original story

Two outbreaks of Clostridium Difficile reported at Health Sciences North earlier this fall haven't quite been wiped out.

There's still one case of C. difficile on the fourth floor of the North tower and one on the sixth level of the south tower.

The outbreak on the fourth floor of the north tower was initially declared Sept. 12. There have been 15 cases of C. Difficile in total associated with that outbreak.

The outbreak on the sixth floor of the south tower was initially declared Oct. 25. There have been seven cases in total associated with that outbreak.

Special infection prevention and control measures have been implemented, according to a statement on the hospital's website.

Visitors to the unit are asked to check in at the nursing station prior to visiting any patients, and exercise proper hand hygiene.

“Frequent hand hygiene is extremely effective in reducing the spread of infection,” the website statement said.

MayoClinic.com reports C. Difficile bacteria can be found both in the environment and in human and animal feces, while a small number of people naturally carry the bacteria in their large intestine.

Passed in feces and spread to food, surfaces and objects when infected people don't practise good hands hygiene, the bacteria produce tough spores that can survive on surfaces outside the body for weeks or months.

Healthy people don't often get sick from C. difficile; however, after using antibiotics to treat infection, which can destroy some of the normal bacteria in the intestine, C. difficile can grow out of control, producing toxins that attack the lining of the intestine, causing illness.

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