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C. diff rates soar among pensioners in Scotland

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A record number of pensioners in Scotland have been diagnosed with Clostridium difficile according to new figures.

Between January and March this year a total of 1861 cases were recorded in people aged 65 and over, an increase of 16% on the previous quarter and 4.8% on the same quarter in 2007.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is vital that Boards analyse and act on this information with targeted action to improve the prevention and control of infection.”

The Health Protection Agency said the results could reflect a seasonal trend but warned against drawing definite conclusions as infection rates have only been collected since September 2006.

MRSA rates in Scotland have fallen to their lowest level since 2003 and compliance with hand cleaning protocols has risen to 88% from 68% in February 2007.

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