Canadian Press

Published: Monday, November 27, 2006
JOLIETTE, Que. (CP) - Visitors have been banned and hand-washing security guards are in place at all entrances of a Quebec hospital trying contain an outbreak of the superbug C. difficile.
Seventeen patients at the Lanaudiere regional hospital have been diagnosed with Clostridium difficile infections in the past 12 days.
"We are taking all measures to ensure that this outbreak will be contained," Caroline Barbir, the hospital's director, said Saturday. "We're taking this very, very seriously."
The patients are in quarantine and cleaning teams are at work 24 hours a day at the hospital in Joliette, north of Montreal, to try and prevent further infections.
Only "humanitarian" visits will be allowed.
"At each entrance we have a security guard who will ask - more than ask - who will demand that each person, each member of the staff, each visitor who passes through our doors wash their hands.
"We're asking the public to respect these measures."
Barbir stressed that the hospital is not under quarantine and that surgeries will continue and the clinic will be open Monday as usual.
The measures that have been put in place to limit the possibility that visitors will help spread the infection throughout the hospital.
Last April four people died at the same hospital from C. difficile.
Ten people died during an outbreak at another hospital in St-Hyacinthe, Que., earlier this fall and a hospital in Drummondville reported three deaths last week.
Yet provincial health officials say the infection rate of C. difficile has dropped significantly since a epidemic broke out in 2003, when there were more than 7,000 cases reported in Quebec.
http://www.canada.com/topics/bodyand...ee4ffa&k=44126