CDC looking into dangerous bacteria in doctors offices

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COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is bringing up questions regarding the bacteria, C. difficile.

C. difficile is a bacteria typically found in hospitals, but a number of people have contracted the bug who have recently visited doctors' or dentists' offices.  

"Typically its antibiotic associated, people get on antibiotic for some sort of illness that knocks out the good bacteria and allows C. diff to proliferate and cause illness," said Dr. Jason Zerrer of Providence Urgent Care. 

The bacteria can cause diarrhea that can be deadly. According to the CDC, a report shows within a year half a million Americans are infected in various places. This bacteria contributes to the death of 29,000 people each year in the U.S. according to the new research.

The New England Journal of Medicine researchers reported Wednesday that C. difficile-associated deaths had doubled since 2007, and over 80% of deaths involved people over 65 years old. 

Zerrer said they have to be extremely careful when it comes to cleaning their facilities. 

"We use typical germicidal cleansers in each room and all the touch surfaces before and after each patient, in the waiting room we hit the rails, chairs, and all touch surfaces to minimize the risk of infection," Zerrer said. 

According to doctors, the cause of this disease is the overuse of antibiotics when from receiving treatment from doctors.

Chiropractor Dr. Stephanie Marsden said this could be prevented by alternative use of medicines like using honey as an antibiotic instead of overusing medical antibiotics.  

"In nature, all natural sources have been shown to just keep people healthier and potentially not need as many antibiotics in the future, therefore not opening you up to the disease," Marsden said. 

The CDC is looking to do more research on what is going on with these infections. In previous research when scientists were able to go into some doctors' offices, they have been able to swab the bacteria off of surfaces.