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C diff. causes one of the most common HAIs and is highly contagious in areas such as hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Outbreaks of the bacteria can cause entire institutions to close down to carry out deep-cleans and disinfect key areas.

Encouraging good hand hygiene and careful cleaning of contaminated textiles can help to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

C diff. causes one of the most common HAIs and is highly contagious in areas such as hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Outbreaks of the bacteria can cause entire institutions to close down to carry out deep-cleans and disinfect key areas.

Encouraging good hand hygiene and careful cleaning of contaminated textiles can help to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

C diff. causes one of the most common HAIs and is highly contagious in areas such as hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Outbreaks of the bacteria can cause entire institutions to close down to carry out deep-cleans and disinfect key areas.

Encouraging good hand hygiene and careful cleaning of contaminated textiles can help to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Ten Facts About C. diff

Clostridium difficile is usually associated with healthcare-acquired infections and can cause highly contagious bacterial infections.

Often abbreviated as C. diff, it is a highly contagious, gram-positive, rod shaped bacterium usually found in the digestive tract of healthy adults.

The delicate balance of your stomach’s microbiome keeps the bacteria under control in this state, but if it’s transmitted out of the body it can cause an infection.

Read on for 10 facts about Clostridium difficile from Addmaster:

1) Pronounced Klos-strid-ee-um diff-ee-seal, it was first described in 1935 by Hall and O’Toole although not recognised as a major cause of illness until the 1970s.

2) The bacterium can be found in the digestive system of roughly 1 in 30 people, but is often out competed by other bacteria and kept from manifesting into an infectious dose as a result.

3) Antibiotics or other disruptions to a patient’s microbiome can allow C. diff to multiply and produce toxins, leading to a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).

4) Most at risk from contracting a CDI are the elderly, patients of digestive surgery, those with weakened immune systems and those with underlying conditions such as cancer, irritable bowels and kidney disease.

5) Common symptoms of a CDI include watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps, feeling nauseous, dehydration, fever, loss of appetite which can potentially lead to weight loss.

6) CDIs are usually treated by ceasing any antibiotics that may be disrupting the microbiome, although another course of antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the bacteria.  In very serious cases, a bowel resection may be required if significant damage has occurred.

7) Recovery usually takes around a fortnight, although around 20% of treatments are required to be repeated if the infection does not clear up fully.  Patients could still remain infectious for 48 hours after symptoms have subsided.

8) C. diff bacteria can survive on surfaces for around 24 hours, or for months at a time as a spore.  Unless cleaned and disinfected thoroughly, cross-contamination between patients can occur through hands, textiles, clothing and surfaces.

9) As such, clothing, towels or bedding used by CDI patients should be washed at the highest temperature recommended, in a separate load to other textiles.

10) Regular hand-washing can also reduce the risk of cross-contamination.  Alcohol hand gels are not effective against C. diff so thorough washing with soap and water is advised.

 

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Around 3% of healthy adults and approximately 66% of infants have C. difficile in their gut without it causing any harm - NHS