What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a Clostridium difficile (C.diff.) infection — – C.diff. strains produce several toxins; the most popular are enterotoxin – Clostridium difficile toxin A and cytotoxin –
Clostridium difficile toxin B. Both strains are responsible for the symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, and can advance to a complication of a severe inflammation of the colon; pseudomembranous colitis, which can also lead to further complications of toxic megacolon.
How is C.diff. transmitted?
Mode of transmission of C. diff. can be either directly or indirectly, hospital acquired (nosocomial) or community – acquired; Ingesting C.diff. spores transmitted from others and patients by hands, or altered normal intestinal flora by antibiotic therapy allowing proliferation of C.diff. in the colon.
Coming in contact with contaminated surfaces, devices, or material with Clostridium difficile spores can easily be transferred to individuals by hands that have touched a contaminated surface or item.
Some examples of surfaces, devices, and materials contaminated with C.diff. spores in hospital/healthcare settings and community/outpatient settings: Commodes, bath tubs, showers, hand rails, bed rails, counter tops, door handles, draw handles, wall light switches, clothing, medical equipment, blood pressure cuffs, walkers, canes, rectal thermometers (2).