Dangerous Bacterium Hits Phoenix Area

PHOENIX, May 29 (UPI) — A dangerous strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been confirmed for the first time in Arizona this year, striking 10 patients in the Phoenix area.

Two people known to be infected with the NAP1 strain of Clostridium difficile have died, The Arizona Republic reports. All of those infected were elderly hospital or nursing-home patients.

“Assuming this continues to evolve, it is going to be a real pain for our healthcare communities,” said Dr. Bob England, who heads the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

C. difficile is antibiotic resistant in all its forms, but the NAP1 strain is about 20 times as toxic. The bacteria cause diarrhea and can cause a fatal inflammation of the colon.

An alert from the state Department of Health Services did not say where cases of C. difficile have been reported, the newspaper said. The Republic obtained the document by a Freedom of Information request.

The NAP1 strain was first identified in the United States about 10 years ago and has now been reported from at least 39 states.

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