New Superbug Highlights Poor Hospital Hygiene

Deadly C. diff., aided by over-prescription of antibiotics, is on the rise
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2008 5:25 PM CDT
A scanning electron micrograph of Clostridium difficile bacteria from a stool sample.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – A deadly new superbug—beefed up by the over-prescription of antibiotics and spread by dirty hospitals and nursing homes—is raising concern in the medical community, MSNBC reports. The so-called C. diff is a mutated form of a benign bug typically transmitted in unsanitary medical facilities, especially bathrooms. Cases are on the rise, and the threat now rivals that of the headline-grabbing MRSA superbug, MSNBC notes.

“The biggest problem in our hospitals is that they are filthy dirty,” said one California epidemiologist. "If we start cleaning the environment, the infection will take care of itself." In 2005, the most recent government figures, an estimated 500,000 people contracted the superbug, of whom 30,000 died.