CDC: Superbug causing more illnesses, deaths

May 28, 2008 1:48:02 PM PDT
A dangerous intestinal superbug is putting people in the hospital by the thousands.

A new study says the number of people hospitalized with C-diff, as the infection is known, has been growing by more than 10,000 cases a year. The germ, which is resistant to some antibiotics, played a role in nearly 300,000 hospitalizations in 2005, more than double the number in 2000.

The infection is found in the colon and can cause diarrhea and a more serious intestinal condition known as colitis. It is spread by spores in feces.

The study, being published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says 2.3 percent of the cases in 2004 were fatal. That's nearly double the percentage of C-diff-related cases that ended in death in 2000.