Nausea. Fever. Diarrhea.
Sounds like a case of the flu, right? Maybe. What you’re dealing with could be just a bad virus that will leave your system in just a few days – or it could be the signs of something even more serious.
Something like C. diff.
What is C. Diff?
According to the CDC, C. diff is described as: “a bacterium that causes inflammation of the colon, known as colitis.” The bacterium is called Clostridium difficile (C. difficile, or C. diff), and as it grows, it releases toxins that attack the lining of the intestines, causing a condition called Clostridium difficilecolitis. Symptoms of the disease may be mild to severe, and include fever, abdominal cramps, and prolonged diarrhea.
How Does It Spread?
Imagine you break your leg and go in for a minor surgery. Everything goes smoothly, but the nurse forgets to wear gloves when changing your dressing. You could catch C. diff.
You have a cold and the doctor prescribes anti-biotics. These weaken your immune system. Your chance of getting C. diff increases.
The public restroom you just used is out of soap. You run some water on your hands and plan to use some anti-bac when you get in your car. Meanwhile you touch your keys, your wallet, and your steering wheel. Despite your good intentions, you may already have C. diff.
C. diff is found in feces and is transmitted by touch – if you come into contact with an infected surface, then touch your mouth or nose, the disease can enter your body through the mucous membranes. It can also be passed by touching an infected person, which is part of why it is so prevalent in healthcare settings or in places where sick people are common. People with compromised immune systems, including the elderly, are at an increased risk of catching this illness.
Why is C. Diff More Dangerous Than The Flu?
C. diff is classified by the CDC as an “Urgent Threat,” partly due to its widespread nature, and ease of transmission. One of the worst aspects of C. diff is the duration. Without proper medical care, the illness will last much longer than most flus, sometimes weeks. Also, the intensity of the symptoms, especially diarrhea, can be dangerous. Dehydration can happen quickly. Furthermore, C. diff is also difficult to kill. The CDC warns that the C. diff bacteria is known to be resistant to several common antibiotics. Proper and professional treatment of both the victim and their surroundings is necessary in order to prevent the disease from spreading and impacting others.
If Someone You Know Has C. Diff
When you get sick, you go to the doctor. But what do you do if your home is also affected?
If you or someone you love becomes infected with the c. Diff bacteria, your first instinct will be to ensure the patient receives proper medical care. Following that, be sure to protect the rest of your home and prevent any reinfection by having your home thoroughly cleaned by a professional biohazard service like Aftermath. This precaution is especially important if the ill person shares a bathroom with others, or if there are small children or elderly in the home. Even if surfaces like faucets and sinks appear clean, c. Difficile can be incredibly resistant to household cleaners and disinfectants. A traditional house cleaning may not be enough to defeat the illness.
Aftermath Services has been cleaning homes and businesses affected by c. Diff and other bacteria since 1996. Our offices are conveniently located nationwide, and teams of trained technicians are available 24/7 to see to your needs. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a communicable disease cleanup or another form of biohazard cleaning, call us at 877-872-4339.