Most of the time that we refer to something as being “super”, it is usually in the context of being a compliment. You’re looking super for instance. Other times terms such as Super Bowl or Super Powers conjure up huge events or someone or something of world wide significance. In some cases though, super can have a deadly connotation. Such is the case with the superbug Clostridium Difficile (C-Diff). The CDC has sent out warnings letting the world know that this bug is deadly and its spreading.
C-Diff is a bacterium who takes up residence in your intestines and then goes into attack mode. When it starts to take over your stomach, it leaves you with little energy to do anything, and makes you feel like your dying. Problem is in some cases, it’s not just a matter of feeling like your dying. In fact, in a story cited on boston.cbslocal.com, the CDC noted that thousands actually die on this infection every year. It’s sad to hear and the problem is that the numbers of death and cases is rising every year.
So if you do somehow manage to contract it, how the devil do you get rid of it? Doctors usually go with a course of Antibiotics, but that is not necessarily able to stop all cases of it. New strains of the virus have been unearthed and sometimes the antibiotics are just not equipped for this disease. In extreme cases like these, it can lead to death or the possible removal of your colon to rid your system of the infection.
The weird thing about C-Diff is the fact that in most cases, a patient contracts it in a hospital. Now think about that, no place is suppose to be as sterile and clean as a hospital, but yet one of the worst bacteria’s going comes from there. It gets passed on to patients by coming in contact with contaminated stool. How does that happen you might wonder? No it is not the patient coming in contact with his roommates bed pan. It is usually the result of a hospital worker coming in contact with the stool in some form, then not properly washing their hands afterwards.
C-Diff is big time contagious and spreads pretty hastily once it has its grip on your insides. So you go to the doctor and he gives you the medicine you were looking for. At the same time, all hospital staff has to rigorously wash their hands with soap and water. Studies have found that those hand lotion dispensers simply just don’t do everything that soap and water does. There is also one other scary notion about this bug that should scare people with it.
The fact is that these same antibiotics you are taking to make you feel better may actually be harming you more. This is especially noted in cases of patients having surgery. Doctors will often prescribe an antibiotic for prevention of a skin infection during surgery. Great thought except the fact that it can wipe out the good bacteria you have in your stomach that would normally ward off the C-Diff. How is that for a catch 22?
It is a very difficult bug and the worst part about it is the patient can’t really do anything to prevent it. They have to count on the doctors and nurses to take extreme care in washing up after they see their patients. If they do, then things will be fine. One careless move though and a patient could be in a world of hurt.