Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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We report here baseline data from the first year of compulsory surveillance of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in hospitals in Belgium. Between 1 July 2007 and 30 June 2008, 2,704 CDI were reported: 12% were recurrent and 66% were hospital-associated (half of which occurred 15 days or more after admission). CDI was considered the cause of death (direct or indirect) for 10% of the episodes. The median incidence of CDI was 1.5 per 1,000 admissions and 1.9 per 10,000 hospital-days for all cases, and 0.9 per 1,000 admissions, and 1.1 per 10,000 hospital-days for hospital-associated cases. Further investigation of risk stratification by average length of stay in the reporting hospitals is warranted as a way to improve the comparability of indicators across hospitals and surveillance systems. In spite of methodological issues, the surveillance of CDI in Belgian hospitals has been able to produce robust baseline data that should allow monitoring of trends at hospital and national level, and provide a basis for international comparisons. Remaining challenges are to define and monitor targets for the control of CDI, and to improve the individual feed-back of data at hospital level.


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