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C. diff outbreak declared over at Stevenson Memorial Hospital

ALLISTON – June 16, 2015 – Stevenson Memorial Hospital is pleased to declare the outbreak of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) over after having consulted with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. After declaring an outbreak of C. difficile on April 15, 2015, hospital staff worked tirelessly to implement vigorous new systems for environmental cleaning, hand hygiene and antibiotic stewardship.

C. difficile is a bacterium that many people carry in their bowel, posing little risk for healthy individuals. However, it can become a health issue for patients who are unwell, elderly, or otherwise health-comprised, particularly those on antibiotics which kill off the "good bacteria" in the bowel and allow C. difficile to flourish and cause infection. The most effective way to stop the spread of the disease is frequent and thorough hand-washing. 

Stevenson Memorial in consultation with Public Health Ontario have put in place new precautions and safety measures which include a strong enforcement of hand hygiene, secure new environmental cleaning systems, and implement a firm commitment to antibiotic stewardship. These measures will become the new normal at Stevenson moving forward.

“I am very thankful to the hard work and dedication of our people, as we declare an end to our C-diff outbreak and I’m confident that we’ve put in place best practices with respect to infection control prevention measures,” says Jody Levac, President & CEO. “As we look ahead to the future we will ensure that these new systems we’ve implemented are sustained. C-diff cases are a reality for all hospitals but I am confident that we are doing the right things to prevent future outbreaks.”

All visitors and patients are asked to pay special attention to good hand hygiene habits when entering and leaving patient care areas.  Good hand hygiene practices are a first line defense in combating the transmission of infectious diseases. 

Stevenson Memorial will continue to evaluate and implement best practices with respect to infection control.

A fact sheet on C. difficile can be downloaded from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website at:

http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Libraries/TOPIC_InfectiousDisease/Clostridium_difficile.sflb.ashx