MONTREAL (CP) — Nine people have died in a Quebec hospital from what doctors believe is a new and more powerful strain of C. difficile.
Since late July, health officials have identified a total of 22 C. difficile cases at Honore-Mercier Hospital in St-Hyacinthe, about 60 kilometres southeast of Montreal.
Doctors are at a loss to explain what caused the outbreak, but are concerned it is a different strain from others found in Quebec hospitals in the past.
The outbreak is even more troubling because the hospital recently underwent widespread renovations.
A spokesperson says 50 per cent of the hospital is being decontaminated and that the work should be finished by next week.
A strain of C. difficile is blamed for roughly 2,000 deaths in Quebec between 2003 and 2004.