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C. diff

Preventing C. diff Infection

Once a person has C. diff infection, the infection can spread to others. C. diff spores are shed in the feces and can live on dry surfaces for a long time. A person who touches one of those surfaces can pick up the infection.

Fortunately, infection can be prevented. If you are visiting a health care facility or are in contact with someone who has the infection, good hygiene is vital. The following precautions can help keep you -- and others -- safe:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Do not rely just on alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Clean surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens regularly with chlorine bleach-based products.
  • Wash soiled clothing with detergent and chlorine bleach.
  • If you are visiting someone in a health care facility, wash your hands before and after your visit. If you use the restroom, wash your hands well to remove possible C. diff spores.
  • Don't use antibiotics unless your doctor recommends them.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 15, 2013

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