Clostridium difficile (organism) is probably present in virtually everyone's gut. The problem with it is when, due to being on antibiotics, the patient develops pseudomembranous colitis, which comes about due to overgrowth of the organism. The antibiotics will kill off a lot of other gut flora. The toxin produced by this organism will overgrow the colon and, in some patients, produce the toxin which produces the colitis. In some patients, this can be life threatening. There are also strains present in some areas that are resistant to most treatments and this is a worry in the infection control departments of hospitals nationwide right now. See the URL below - there is some information on the CDC sites about this emerging problem.
MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Staph. aureus is an organism that can cause nasty infections and abscesses. MRSA has traditionally been mostly confined to hospitals and is a more resistant strain of the organism. There has been an emergence in the last few years of "community-acquired" MRSA, which can produce what some people think are "spider bites" and can cause nasty skin infections. These are obviously contagious, and the strains are pretty resistant, which makes treatment difficult. There is information on both Community acquired and hospital acquired strains if you click on the URL's below.
This is a very cursory overview. Microbiology is a very very complicated subject. In answer to your question, I would suppose it would depend on what the person would be doing. I would personally not like to work closely with anyone who had MRSA on their skin. In hospitals, these patients are put into wound and skin isolation until their infections are under control. Likewise, patients with C. difficile toxin are also put into isolation, and many nursing homes prevent patients with positive C. difficile toxin results to be admitted.
No employer in their right mind, in my personal view, would allow these people to be employed without some sort of release from their personal physicians that they are indeed free of these conditions. Both are contagious conditions and dangerous to public health.
You can check out the CDC for further information:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/id_Cdiff.html (C. difficile information)
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/submenus/sub_mrsa.htm (MRSA information)
Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
Microbiology 32 years
"Garcia, Veronica J" <Veronica.Garcia at twc.state.tx.us> wrote in message news:mailman.763.1137545646.29584.microbio at net.bio.net...
Please explain what are MRSA and Clostridium Dificile. Please explain what major life activity is substantially limited due to this condition, if any. Is it a condition that is temporary or permanent? Is the condition controlled by medication? How could these conditions affect ones employment and are there any accommodations that would be necessary to allow a person with this condition to be employed?
Veronica J. Garcia
Civil Right Investigator
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