Potentially deadly Clostridium difficile (C. diff), which sickened an estimated half million Americans one recent year, has gained notoriety as a hospital-acquired infection.
Patients who have taken antibiotics face an elevated risk of acquiring the diarrheal disease, and the majority of infections occur in health care facilities, research has shown. Continue reading
A study published in the April 2010 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases finds the incidence of Clostridium difficile appears to be increasing in children. Other studies have found the diarrhea-causing bacterium is becoming “more severe and complicating many hospitalizations” among adults but this study found that “between 1997 and 2006, the rates of hospitalization for C. difficile in children nearly doubled.”
Researchers reported a low rate of C. diff. among newborns, which they say supports the concept that the bacteria does not cause disease among newborns.However, the study concludes that “In contrast, the relatively high rate of CDI-related hospitalizations among non-newborn infants indicates an urgent need for studies to determine how often C. difficile causes true disease in this population.”
Clostridium difficile Infection among Hospitalized Children, United States, 1997-2006
M.D. Zilberberg et al.
CDC’s Overview of Clostridium difficile Infections