News Roundup

North America has new outbreaks of antibiotic associated C difficile

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 15 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1425
  1. Janice Tanne
  1. New York

    Outbreaks of severe Clostridium difficile diarrhoea with a high death rate have occurred among hospital patients in Quebec and in at least 16 US states. In the United States people at low risk in the community have also been affected. Use of fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins has been implicated.

    Although the infection usually affects hospital patients or elderly people in long term care facilities, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported severe C difficile disease among healthy people in the community and among peripartum women (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2005;54:1201-5).

    Ten cases among peripartum women and 23 cases among people in the community were reported from four states between February 2003 and June 2005. The patients in the community ranged in age from 6 months to 72 years. One person, one of the peripartum women, died.

    Most patients in the CDC reports said they had not used …

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