Topics

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Deadly diarrhea disease C. difficile infects almost 500,000 in U.S. each year
Deadly diarrhea disease C. difficile infects almost 500,000 in U.S. each year

Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes swelling of the colon and potentially deadly bouts of diarrhea, infects almost half a million people each year and contributes to the deaths of 29,000, according to new research. In a paper published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers reported that C. difficile-associated deaths had more than doubled since 2007 and that more than 80% of those fatalities involved people 65 or older. The bacterium most commonly infects patients in healthcare settings -- inpatient and outpatient -- after they have been prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics. These drugs not only kill harmful germs, but they also kill...

Loading