08/07/2012 06:51 EDT | Updated 10/07/2012 05:12 EDT

C. difficile outbreak remains at 2 Hamilton hospitals

Two Hamilton hospitals continue to be classified with C. difficile outbreak status, although the situation at one appears to be calming.

St. Joseph's Healthcare's Charlton campus and Hamilton General Hospital's surgical trauma unit, 6 South, both declared C. difficile outbreaks in late July.

St. Joseph's Charlton campus reported Tuesday afternoon that it has 19 patients with C. difficile, 10 of the cases acquired in the hospital while Hamilton General has four, none of them in 6 South.

Although there are now no cases in 6 South, Hamilton General has not lifted its outbreak status.

Thirty days must pass from the time the last patient in 6 South displayed symptoms before that happens, said spokesperson Lillian Badzioch.

The surgical trauma unit has more than 20 beds and outbreak status is reached when three or more patients have the bacterial infection, Dr. Dominik Mertz, the hospital's medical director of infection control and prevention, explained last week.

There were no new cases Tuesday at the St. Joseph's Charlton campus. It remains in outbreak status with 10 hospital-associated cases and nine community-acquired cases.

Both hospitals say they remain vigilant about cleaning and surveillance.

“We're still continuing to monitor it and do advanced cleaning,” Badzioch said.