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Deadly Stomach Infection Rising In Community Settings, Study Finds

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that a sometimes deadly stomach bug, Clostridium difficile, is on the rise in outpatient settings. Clostridium difficile is a serious bacteria that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. These findings were presented October 26 at the 2009 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Clostridium difficile, often called C. difficile or "C. diff," is a bacterium that is resistant to some antibiotics and is most often contracted by the elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.

"Recent reports have shown increasing incidence and severity of C. difficile infection -- especially in the older population," says Darrell Pardi, M.D., Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and senior author on the study. "Our study examines why the cases are on the rise and who is getting the infection."
 
 

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