C. difficile outbreak declared at Midland hospital

Three hospital-acquired cases within the past seven days

Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is dealing with a C. difficile outbreak on one inpatient unit. In consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the decision to declare the outbreak came following three hospital-acquired cases on the unit within the past seven days.

GBGH said C. difficile outbreaks are declared based on an increase in cases from each hospital’s regular case counts.

“Regular cases can differ among organizations and thus, the threshold can differ between hospitals. GBGH consistently has a very low case count and has not experienced a C. difficile outbreak in more than six years,” according to a media release from the hospital.

To reduce possible transmission, the hospital said patients related to the outbreak are located in private rooms and enhanced housekeeping is taking place using sporicidal cleaning agents that specifically target C. difficile bacterial spores. The products used for C. difficile differ from cleaning products used to eliminate viruses such as COVID-19.

GBGH is closely looking into possible factors which may have contributed to the outbreak.

“There are many factors which can contribute to C. difficile infections,” said Angie Saini, vice president of Clinical Services and chief nursing executive, GBGH. “Most commonly, patients who have a history of C. difficile or who have been taking certain antibiotics for prolonged periods tend to be more susceptible. We have been proactive in identifying and testing the affected patients as soon as they presented with symptoms.”

Admissions to the unit and discharges from the unit are not impacted at this time.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitation to the hospital was already limited and those restrictions remain in place.

Banner image: cdc.gov

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