Many in the medical community are familiar with this super-bug, and the difficulties it presents.
Clostridium Difficile, better known as C. Diff has evolved to be a super-bug and can handle almost any environment. It can live in the dirt, survive in the air in spores, water, and even animal and human fecal matter. If you are wondering why this bacteria might sound familiar is because in the past there have been cases of contaminated food, because C. Diff can even survive in processed meats and other food products. To make the bacteria even scarier, some people can carry it and live symbiotically with it, however, these people unknowingly are spreading this bacteria if they do not wash properly after using the bathroom.
For the most part, C.Diff has been found in health care settings in patients who have chronic infections, and who have needed numerous courses of antibiotics. Since these patients congregate in these types of settings, others who do not have the bacteria are more likely to acquire it.
But what does that mean for the rest of the population? How do we cope with this almost militaristically armored bacteria? Find its weakness…
The best part, or the weakness of C. Diff? Hand-washing, Lysol, Clorox, and proper hygiene!
The bacteria thrives in the small intestine and one can only be infected by orally ingesting the bacteria, or it’s spores. By properly washing your hands and keeping bathroom areas and other areas commonly used, clean, C. Diff bacterial colonies in a house with an infected occupant could decrease greatly. Maintence of these areas, and keeping them clean during the infection and immediately after. Spores can live for months on certain types of surfaces, so to avoid re-infection, cleanliness is key.
But wait… Hold the phone! What is so bad about C. Diff if some people can live with it without symptoms? It cant be that bad then!
And that is where most people are wrong, C. Diff is a serious infection normally requiring intravenous (IV) antibiotics and several other drugs to help the immune system fight the bacteria. Since it occurs in the intestines most of the symptoms are isolated to severe gastrointestinal discomfort, such watery diahrea that occurs 3+ (mild infection) or 10+ (severe infection) times a day for two or more days, fever, cramps, increased white cell count, kidney failure (severe infection), weight loss, swollen or distended abdomen, dehydration, and nausea. Remember it is always important to see a doctor when symptoms such as these arise, especially after taking antibiotics.
This article was written by Katie Moore, a writer for dusk magazine.