A new superbug, Clostridium difficle (C. Diff), has caused more deaths than H1N1 in recent years. More common than MRSA infection, C. Diff is a type of bacteria that resides in your stomach and can cause diarrhea, fever and serious intestinal conditions. Infection usually occurs after consuming antibiotics. Since antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria in your body, individuals taking antibiotics are at greater risk of C. Diff infection. C. Diff infection is most common in senior adults 65 years and older, but is also increasingly common with children.
C. Diff can cause a dangerous inflammation of the colon and can be fatal. Here are some symptoms this bacterium can cause:
- Blood or pus in stool
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Watery diarrhea multiple times a day
- Abdominal cramping and pain, which may be severe
How is C. Diff spread?
C. Diff bacteria are found in feces and can be easily spread from person to person. The infection can be contracted from a toilet seat or simply by shaking hands. Any open pores that have come in contact with C. Diff can also lead this infection into your blood stream. C. Diff is commonly found in people who have been in hospitals or other healthcare facilities.
How to Prevent
- Healthy living and eating style. Adding probiotic-rich foods can help keep the immune system healthy.
- Only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Since 70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, there could be a greater chance that your immune system may not be functioning optimally if your stomach is overrun with bad bacteria. This will help ensure that there is still good bacteria in your stomach to fight off infection.
- Wash hands regularly. Remember to always wash with water and soap to avoid contracting or spreading C. Diff. Alcohol based hand sanitizers do not kill off C. Diff.