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What is C. diff (Clostridioides difficile) ?
Clostridioides difficile is gram-positive, anaerobic, and a spore, rod/spindle-shape,
a common bacterium of the human intestine in 2 – 5%. C diff. becomes a serious gastrointestinal infection when individuals have been exposed to antibiotic therapy, and/or have experienced a long-term hospitalization, and/or have had an extended stay in a long-term care facility. However; the risk of acquiring a C diff. infection has increased as it is in the community and found in outpatient settings. There are significant risk factors in patients who are immunosuppressant, ones who have been on antibiotic therapy, and a higher risk is in the elderly population.
How Can Antibiotics Cause a C. diff. Infection?
The antibiotics cause a disruption in the normal intestinal flora which can lead to an over growth of C difficile bacteria in the colon.
Every year since 2012 the CDC shared a public announcement regarding antibiotic use: Colds and many ear and sinus infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Taking antibiotics to treat a “virus” can make those drugs less effective when you and your family really need them. Limiting the usage of antibiotics will also help limit new cases of a
C. difficile infection.
*Always discuss the symptoms and medications with the treating Physician.
How is C. diff. spread?
The mode of transmission for C. diff. is through the fecal-oral route and primarily by touching contaminated surfaces which lead to contaminated hands, and the C. diff. spores are then ingested. This occurs by coming in contact with contaminated equipment, objects, and surfaces contaminated with the spores.
The C. diff. spores will live on inanimate objects for a very long time.
School Nurses: If two or more cases are reported within one classroom please contact the local health department for assistance.
"Raising C. diff. Awareness" will decrease the panic and lower anxiety with students, staff, and parents. Please contact the Foundation (1-727-205-3922) for brochures and literature that can be shared to aid in "Raising C. diff. Awareness."
Decrease the spread of infection (Infection Control) measures to be taken:
** HIGH TOUCH AREAS TO BE DISINFECTED: Disinfect “High Touch” surfaces: Door knobs/handles, Door surfaces both sides, Bed rails(in facilities), Call lights, Over-bed tables/drawers, *Phones, Counter-tops of hard non-porous surfaces, Light switches, Furniture, Arms of chairs, Seats of Chairs, Desk Tops, Window sills, Portable bedside commodes, medical equipment being used, diaper pails, toilets, faucets, handrails, sink, tub/shower, locker room benches, shower floors, mirrors, floors of non-porous surfaces, and all hard non-porous surfaces applicable. (* For mobile phones check w/manufacturer before applying disinfectant to surfaces/screens*) Wearing gloves during cleaning is suggested, utilizing disposable cleaning clothes/towels is recommended, cleaning cloth should not be reintroduced into a EPA Registered cleaning solution after wiping down surfaces. * Noted from U.S. EPA
Kills and/or inactivates spores of Clostridium difficile on hard, non-porous surfaces. The product should achieve a mean log reduction of ≥ 6 logs based on recoverable spores.
All products bearing Clostridioides difficile sporicide claims are to include these specific cleaning directions:
Resource: Center of Disease Control and Prevention; www.cdc.gov Cohen SH. Clinical Practice Guidelines forClostridium difficile infection in adults: 2010 update by the Society forHealthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA).Infec ControlEpidemiol.2010 May; 31(5):431-55