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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

C. diff no longer a mystery meat: Healthcare is the battleground

One finding that slid under the radar recently in a CDC report on the surging epidemic of Clostridium difficile was that 94% of the infections were linked to health care.

That’s logical enough, you may well note, but consider that not that long ago there was increasing suspicion of retail meat and other sources to explain the historical picture that some 20% of C. diff infections are of unknown origin. In one study, C. diff was found in a wide variety of retail meats, and then came the disturbing corollary: cooking does not necessarily kill the hardy bug. Now, as surveillance systems are being refined to capture more of these high-priority infections, we can see that C. diff links to the food chain and other unusual sources likely account for a very small percentage of cases.

That means more than ever that health care settings will be the battleground if C. diff is to be stopped from a rampant rise that is generally attributed to the absolute dominance of the highly virulent NAP1 strain. To get the lastest advice and tips on preventing C. diff infections tune in to for our upcoming educational progam: Clostridium difficile Colitis: Prevention and Management on Thursday, March 22 from 12:00 - 1:30pm. In this 90-minute streaming webinar, Infection Prevention Consultant Leah Frederick MS, RN, CIC, will give you practical tips to protect your patients. The experienced IP will discuss the characteristics and transmission of CDI, monitoring these infections, and recommended practices for prevention and control. Learning Objectives: • Discuss 2 features of the microorganism C. diff which make transmission difficult to control in the healthcare setting • List the elements of a program to recognize and prevent CDI and transmission in the healthcare setting • Discuss the importance of hand hygiene and environmental cleaning in prevention of transmission of C. diff • Describe resources for controlling CDI in the healthcare setting Credits: 1.5 CNE Credits Course Level: All Levels Registration: Only $299 to attend Priority Code: 10T12407/EM02235 Meet Your Expert Leah Frederick has successfully developed Infection Prevention and Control Programs for new hospitals, and led organizations in improving existing programs. She specializes in leading organizations to decrease and prevent healthcare-acquired infections and providing the most up-to-date information on regulatory compliance.

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