Infections with the bacterium Clostridium difficile hit record numbers in recent years. Now there's evidence the hard-to-treat infections are becoming a problem for children.
The infections often strike the elderly, especially those who've been taking antibiotics that clear out competing bacteria in people's intestines. People sickened by the bug have persistent diarrhea that can, in severe cases, lead to dehydration.
Amber Cooper and her husband were doing OK. They had jobs, a healthy 5-year-old son, a house in Riverbank, Calif., and health insurance from her job in the accounting department of a small manufacturing company.
Then one day everything changed.
"We were in a conference room ... and I had heard rumors but didn't know if it was true, and I started crying in front of everyone and actually had to excuse myself to gather myself together and go back in. It was devastating for me," Cooper said.
A big study of a colon cancer test called flexible sigmoidoscopy may provide a good example of how a cheaper, easier-on-the-patient and possibly better technology isn't always the one American doctors choose to use.
A look at malaria drugs being used in places that are hotbeds for the mosquito-borne illness finds that many of them are substandard or even fake.
And that's a big problem. Combinations of well-made drugs, including those that contain arteminisin, are a cornerstone of malaria treatment. But when some of the drugs are of poor quality or are outright fakes, people don't get well. Ineffective combinations can promote drug-resistant malaria.