A Coroner's inquest has begun into the death of 16 persons who were infected by the bacteria Clostridium difficile.
The deaths occurred at a hospital near Montreal .An investigation last year revealed that sanitation and hygiene were sorely missing at the hospital, where even three infected persons were made to share a single bed.
The bacteria C. difficile has been in circulation at Quebec for some years.
There were 33 persons infected of which 16 were recorded to have died from the infection. Yet families of other infected persons have grouped to ask for a wider search into the matter as C. difficile has killed about 2,000 people over the last several years in hospitals and institutions across the province.
The bacteria is said to cause diarrhea and is more dangerous in elders, younger children and weak persons.
The infection may lead to a condition called colitis.
High rates of antibiotic used in institutions leave patients more vulnerable to the bacterium. When patients take antibiotics, competing colon bacteria die off, allowing C. difficile to take hold and flourish.
Experts say the difficulty of eradicating C. difficile spores once an infected patient has contaminated an environment makes the bug easier to contract in hospitals.