1. Clostridium difficile (C. dif) a. What is Clostridium difficile? Clostridium difficile is a gram positive bacteria of the genus Clostridium. C. difficile bacteria naturally reside in the body and this bacteria is capable of forming spores. b. What are the symptoms of C. difficile disease? Symptoms of C. difficile disease include watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain/tenderness. With the elderly population being more susceptible to complications of dehydration, this disease is of great concern for them. c. How is C. difficle disease transmitted? C. difficile is transmitted through contact. Infection can occur if surfaces become contaminated with feces and an individual
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In both cases the patients tests positive. f. How is C. difficile disease treated? Discontinuing the antibiotic that exposed the patient to overgrowth of C. difficile resolves the condition in 2-3 days in 23% of patients. Antibiotics used to treat unresolved C. difficile infections include metroidazole and vancomycin. g. Have any antibiotic resistant strains been reported? A strain of C. difficile has become more resistant to fluoroquinolones possibly due to the increasing use of fluoroquinolones in heath care.
2. West Nile Virus (WNV) a. Which system of the human body is targeted by WNV? West Nile Virus targets the nervous system. What are the symptoms of the disease? Symptoms of West Nile Virus can be severe or mild. The more serious sever symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may be permanent. b. What is the mode of transmission for WNV? The most common mode of transmission of West Nile Virus is through infected mosquitoes. This transmission occurs when a mosquito feeds on an infected bird and then bites the animal. c. What is the risk of getting sick from WNV? Only 20% of people who are infected with West Nile Virus will be symptomatic. People over 50 are more likely to become symptomatic. Any individual is more at risk for