Stomach Bug Mutates Into Medical Mystery

Posted on Tuesday, January 03 at 08:45 by jensonj
"It's been a nightmare," said Shultz, a mother of two young children. "I just want my life back." Shultz is one of a growing number of young, otherwise healthy Americans who are being stricken by the bacterial infection known as Clostridium difficile -- or C. diff -- which appears to be spreading rapidly around the country and causing unusually severe, sometimes fatal illness. That is raising alarm among health officials, who are concerned that many cases may be misdiagnosed and are puzzled as to what is causing the microbe to become so much more common and dangerous. "It's a new phenomenon. It's just emerging," said L. Clifford McDonald of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "We're very concerned. We know it's happening, but we're really not sure why it's happening or where this is going." It may, however, be the latest example of a common, relatively benign bug that has mutated because of the overuse of antibiotics. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/29/AR2005122901575_pf.html

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