Superbug claims two lives as cases rise
TWO patients died from the deadly superbug C difficile last year, a new report shows.
And nearly 50 others suffered life-threatening effects from the infection.
The number of reported new cases of the bug, which spreads very easily, rose to 1,848 last year, up from 1,693 in 2010, according to the report.
The bug does not affect healthy people but some antibiotics can interfere with the balance of 'good' bacteria in the gut. This allows C difficile bacteria to multiply and produce poisons which cause diarrhoea and fever.
Details of where the patients who died caught the bug have not been released.
Older people are most at risk from the infection which is predominantly found in hospitals.
The fatalities from C difficile are revealed in a document compiled by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, the disease watchdog.
It said 43 deaths in patients with the infection were recorded but it was only possible to say it had directly killed two.
The watchdog points out that C difficile infections can usually be prevented by practising good infection control in healthcare environments.