Woodstock, IL, July 5th, 2011 -- According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) there were 15,323 hospital discharges of people who had experienced infections due to Clostridium difficile in 2009. The vast majority of these infected patients, at 68%, were individuals who were 65 years or older. Of these, almost 60% were female patients.
“Clostridium difficile, also known as C. diff, CDI and C. difficile, is a bacterium that may develop due to the prolonged use of antibiotics,” reported Ed Chambers, the President of EC2, Inc., an Illinois based environmental and infectious disease consulting firm. “C. diff infections cause diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions including colitis. It is a major cause of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) and has been increasingly identified as a community acquired infection,” he continued.
Antibiotic treatment of C. diff infections can be difficult, due both to antibiotic resistance as well as physiological factors of the bacteria itself. These include spore formation and the protective effects of its pseudomembrane.
C. diff is shed in feces. Any surface, device, or material that becomes contaminated with feces may serve as a reservoir for the bacteria’s spores. These spores can be transferred to patients via the hands of healthcare personnel who have touched a contaminated surface or by the patients coming in contact with contaminated surfaces.
Appropriate personal hygiene, and adequate cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces and reusable devices can help prevent the spread of C. diff. Environmental testing can also help identify when microbial contaminants, such as C. diff, are in healthcare, community or indoor environments to help stop the spread of this and other dangerous pathogens.
EC2 recently helped sponsor a public outreach video on C. diff that can be viewed at:
Healthcare professionals interested in learning more about environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ) and infectious disease issues can learn more by visiting http://www.4ec2inc.com/, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (815) 703-9000.
About EC2, Inc.
EC2 is a leading provider of environmental consulting and inspection services for clients across the United States. Based in the Chicago area, the company provides their services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 corporations.