From Foster's Online:
"Medical experts and state officials say they're taking notice of a potentially deadly bacterium that has developed a more virulent strain and may be spreading beyond medical facilities, where it once was thought to be concentrated.
At least one New Hampshire mother acquired the more dangerous strain after only a brief stay at a hospital to give birth, according to Dr. L. Clifford McDonald, an epidemiologist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bacterium, called Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, causes diarrhea and other serious intestinal maladies like colitis. Over the past two years, several states have reported the more dangerous strain, which is more severe and has higher mortality rates, according to the CDC.
The bacterium historically has been found in nursing homes and hospitals, but some recent reports show that people who only have visited medical facilities briefly, or not at all, also are acquiring the bug. One CDC study, published in the Dec. 2 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, highlighted 33 cases of C. diff infections in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Ohio."
It's this new, spreading strain that has been connected to young adults deaths by chronic diarrhea. It is, of course, highly resistant to several antiobiotic medications.