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