by Betsy McCaughey, Right Wing News
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after their deadly fumbling on Ebola and measles, new data show the agency vastly underestimated the threat of a superbug raging through our hospitals and nursing homes. Data from a leading medical journal show that 29,000 people in the U.S. are killed each year by Clostridium difficile, more than double what the CDC claimed just three years ago. Worse still, the CDC is dithering while deaths mount.
C. diff causes severe diarrhea, sometimes permanently destroying the lining of the colon and causing other deadly complications. The new data reveal that nearly half a million people get C. diff each year. It kills almost twice as many people as AIDS.
How do patients get it? Oral-fecal contamination, meaning traces of a patient’s diarrhea get into another patient’s mouth. Sorry, but that only happens because hospitals and other health care facilities are inadequately cleaned. The germ lurks on bed rails, curtains, faucet handles, doorknobs and call buttons, where it can survive for two years. Patients touch these invisibly contaminated surfaces and then touch their mouth or food and swallow the germ when they eat.
Just being assigned to a hospital room after a C. diff patient is risky. At one hospital, three patients treated consecutively in the same room all contracted C. diff. One died C. diff is also spread room to room on doctors’ and nurses’ hands. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t kill it. Hands have to be cleaned with soap and water, but few health care workers do it. Read the entire story.