Hamilton Public Health has declared a C. difficile outbreak at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton's Charlton Campus. The hospital currently has a total of 11 confirmed hospital-associated cases of C. difficile isolated on different units at the campus.
In a statement, the hospital said "affected patients have been placed in isolation rooms which are double-cleaned daily with bleach-based cleaners per our regular practice for C. difficile. Additional cleaning of the common areas has been put in place on the affected units to further combat the spread."
Clostridium difficile (C. diff), which causes diarrhea, is one of the most common infections in hospitals and long-term care facilities. Persons most at risk after exposure are typically older and with underlying illness such as inflammatory bowel disease or immunodeficiency, and who are also taking antibiotics.
Antibiotics kill off the "good bacteria" in the bowel and allow the C. diff to flourish and cause illness.