Healthcare-Associated Infections: Clostridioides difficile
Infectious agent: Clostridioides difficile
Description of illness: Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium that causes inflammation of the colon, known as colitis. Symptoms include: watery diarrhea (at least three bowel movements per day for two or more days), fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain/tenderness. Clostridioides difficile is shed in feces. Any surface, device, or material (e.g., toilets, bathing tubs, and electronic rectal thermometers) that becomes contaminated with feces may serve as a reservoir for the Clostridioides difficile spores. Clostridioides difficile spores are transferred to patients mainly via the hands of healthcare personnel who have touched a contaminated surface or item. Clostridioides difficile can live for long periods on surfaces.
This disease/condition should be reported through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
- SHEA/IDSA Pratice Recommendation: Strategies to Prevent Clostridium difficile Infections in Acute Care Hospitals