It’s Within Our Power to Curb C. diff

Clostridioides difficile (or C. diff) is the most common health care associated infection. Yet only 30 percent of Americans have heard of this dangerous and potentially deadly disease. So in this November’s C. Diff Awareness month, let’s do what we can to raise awareness among colleagues, partners, and the public.

GSA has teamed-up with several other organizations to address the challenges presented by this bacterium. The Peggy Lillis Foundation has a website dedicated to helping friends, family, and healthcare workers “See C. diff.” It covers the risk factors, symptoms, and potential treatments, so we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from this preventable disease.

Over the past year, I have also represented GSA on the Steering Committee of the C. difficile Awareness Initiative, which was formed in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deeming this infectious disease an urgent public health threat.

Next week, the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting Online will feature a satellite symposium titled “C. difficile Infection in the Older Adult.” The full program agenda is online.

C. diff is known for causing severe diarrhea and colitis; it’s estimated that there are nearly half a million infections in the U.S. each year. About one in six patients who get C. Diff will get it again in the subsequent two to eight weeks. And one in 11 people over age 65 diagnosed with a health care-associated C. Diff infection will die within one month.

This is an underrecognized issue that has significant negative impact on older adults. We can turn the tide, but it’s going to take action to save more lives.


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