Early analysis of 2011 to 2014 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infections Program finds that the incidence of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) in hospital and nursing home settings has gone down for the first time in decades.

C. diff is a bacterium that causes inflammation of the colon, known as colitis.

The analysis suggests a 9 percent to 15 percent drop in health careassociated C. diff rates nationwide. CDC officials credit the decline in part to new antibiotic use guidelines and stricter cleaning standards in hospitals and other health care facilities.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.