Clostridium difficile Infection | Prevention

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How can I avoid getting C. diff.?

Since C. diff. spores (inactive bits of C. diff.) can live a long time on surfaces (such as toilet seats, telephones and doorknobs) you should use good hygiene to avoid the bacteria.

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly, using soap and water.
  • Use disposable gloves when caring for someone who may have C. diff.
  • Use chlorine bleach-based products to disinfect surfaces or items that may have come in contact with an infected person.
  • Wash clothing that may be soiled with stool with detergent and chlorine bleach.
  • If you are visiting someone in a health care facility, wash your hands before, during and after your visit, especially if you use the restroom facilities.
  • Don’t use antibiotics unless your doctor recommends them.
  • If you have C. diff. infection, wash your hands with soap and water before eating and after using the restroom. Use a chlorine bleach-based product to clean surfaces you may have touched (doorknobs, telephones or keyboards, for example) to avoid spreading the infection to others.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 08/09

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