Ontario C. difficile outbreak linked to 24th death
Another death has been linked to C. difficile in Ontario as six hospitals in the province continue to battle outbreaks of the infection.
The Niagara Health System said an elderly patient with the illness died Saturday at a hospital in Welland, Ont., which has been battling an outbreak of the infectious bacteria.
The hospital said it is investigating the role the illness played in the death of the patient, who had multiple health issues.
There have been at least 24 deaths connected to C. difficile since outbreaks emerged at hospitals across the province in late May.
The Niagara region has 47 confirmed cases of C. difficile spread over six hospitals, including 19 cases at St. Catharines General, where public health officials declared the area's first outbreak on May 28. Four hospitals in the Niagara region, one in Guelph and one in Orangeville are still struggling to contain outbreaks of the bug.
Clostridium difficile causes severe diarrhea and is typically spread in hospitals through contact with fecal matter.
Vulnerable patients taking antibiotics are generally the most susceptible to the bacterial disease.
On Thursday health officials also declared an outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a superbug known as MRSA, at a Niagara Falls hospital already fighting C. difficile.
Hospitals can only declare an outbreak over once there are no new hospital-acquired cases for 30 days.