CDC: Deadly Superbug “C-Diff” Spreading

By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TV

DENNIS (CBS) – Three months after having knee replacement surgery, Kathleen Powers of Dennis is finally feeling well enough to do something as simple as make herself a cup of tea.

Her slow recovery has nothing to do with her knee. An infection she picked up either in the hospital or in the rehab facility ravaged her digestive system. “You feel like all of your life’s energy is being sucked out of you,” she said.

Tests confirmed Kathleen had C-Diff which is short for Clostridium Difficile. It’s a bacterium that attacks your intestines.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports.

“You feel like you’re not going to get better and you feel like you’re dying,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, C-Diff kills thousands of people every year and that number is growing.

“It’s between three and six-fold more common than it was just ten years ago,” explained Dr. Rocco Riccardi of Lahey Clinic.

Antibiotics are the standard treatment, but that doesn’t always work. “In that situation, one can get very, very sick and have to have their colon removed,” Riccardi said.

Both Dr. Riccardi and the CDC blame a new strain of the bacteria for the increased cases of the bug.

“This epidemic strain is much more aggressive and it produces more toxins or stronger toxins and it’s harder to treat,” Riccardi said.

C-diff is highly contagious and is spread through contaminated stool, usually by health care workers who don’t wash properly. What makes this bug particularly tricky is those alcohol-based hand sanitizers often used in hospitals don’t work on C-Diff. Doctors and nurses need to wash with soap and water before and after they visit a patient’s room. The microscopic spores can also survive for weeks on hard surfaces like a counter, a phone or a handrail.

Kathleen believes hospitals need to do more to educate and protect their patients. “You don’t think you’re going to go in (to the hospital) and come out with something deadly,” she said.

“I just want people to be aware that this C-Diff is out there and it’s devastating,” she said.

Certain antibiotics can actually increase a patient’s risk of developing C-Diff. Often doctors will prescribe an antibiotic to prevent a skin infection during surgery. But sometimes that antibiotic wipes out all the good bacteria in the patient’s gut and that clears the way for C-Diff to take over.

If you are having surgery, you should talk to your doctor about your risks. Older patients and those with certain pre-existing conditions also have a higher chance of getting C-Diff. The only other way to protect yourself is to make sure your care give keeps their hands clean or wears gloves.

More from Kate Merrill
  • Michelle from Methuen

    My 90 year old grandmother contracted this virus, which led to colitis, which led to perforated colitis, which is killing her. It’s evil – be careful.

    • roxmac

      Brance, C-diff is one of the few bacteria capable of making spores.

    • anon
    • thedametruth

      It killed my father and my uncle. maintain an alkaline internal environment, take probiotics and stay the heck out of the hospital.

      • Johnnydee

        were your uncles home gardeners? see above post

    • Rob

      Some bacteria are spore formers so that is where the author is coming up wiht “spores”.

    • Ludwig

      Clostridia are anaerobic, spore-forming rods (bacilli).[2] C. difficile is the most serious cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD) and can lead to pseudomembranous colitis, a severe infection of the colon, often resulting from eradication of the normal gut flora by antibiotics.[3]

      Source: Wikipedia

    • Jessica Guereschi Wein

      This is in fact a bacteria and it is in fact a spore. There are two bacteria that are spores and C. diff happens to be one of them. Any general microbiology book will tell you that.

  • Laurie

    C-diff seems to be very widespread in nursing homes and rehab centers. These places really need to better emphasize hygiene for workers to avoid making patients sick!!! Never hesitate to ask a doctor or staff member to wash his or her hands because it could save your life!

    • health care worker

      Most of these cases come from the hospital already infected, usually after being dosed with strong antibiotics. These patients need to be provided with the only known effective preventative – probiotics – before they contract C-Diff in the first place.

      Good hygiene only goes so far when the patient is a blank slate for such destructive diseases. Health care workers are one of the lowest concerns in this.

    • strongteamaker


      Bird flue
      Chicken flue
      Swine flue
      Avian flue
      Mad Cow
      Flue flue
      Global warming
      Global cooling
      Lead paint
      Corporate bailout

      Everyone one of these events were going to kill us and our kids.

      This repressive and disgusting government of Blood Libelers needs a good kick in the butt.

      • Davec

        Thats the result of you not having the intelligence to study things out for yourself, your “im so disgusted” attitude is convenient for whiners.

      • suzie

        what is she going to do, carry a lab set everywhere to find answers? You can’t believe everything you read or hear. Even trying to study it doesn’t always give you answers if you don’t know what the hell you are dealing with in the first place.

    • Jean

      I work in a hospital and it’s not so much the health care workers not washing thier hands. Health care workers wear isolation gowns and gloves when dealing with these patients and wash their hands afterwards. The problem comes in when the patients don’t wash their hands and walk around the unit touching the rails and everything else…no one is walking behind these people with bleach wipes. Also, the patients family members refuse to wear the gowns and gloves and they spread the bacteria as well. These are the worst culprits of spreading the disease.

      • davec

        I have a friend who is an infection control nurse who is on a tear about hospital cleanliness, especially CURTAINS and TRASH CANS. Says its amazing how much is missed by the cleaning staff.

        No , its not just patients spreading it. Anyone who touches a contaminated surface can spread it.

      • Rock

        What you say I know to be true, however, this does not take the light off the care givers, as they sometimes do not change their gowns and gloves before entering another patient’s room after having been caring for an infected patient. I think this is an important issue to bring out also. I have seen this very thing in an ICU.

  • Tweets that mention CDC: Deadly Superbug “C-Diff” Spreading « CBS Boston --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alina Rossi, Mama Vega. Mama Vega said: CDC: Deadly Superbug “C-Diff” Spreading: Three months after having knee replacement surgery, Kathleen Powers of … […]

  • Cindy

    This is so bad. My Mom spent two days in the hospial for breathing issues.
    and 24 hours later I had to call 911. She could not stop going like water and started to vomit. they found blood in her stool..
    That was 5 days ago.
    She sent the weekend in ICU. and just moved to surgical floor and going in hopefully just a colanosphy today.

    I am going to check if they tested for C-diff.

  • Buddy

    I had surgery 4 years ago and got a staff infection. The funny thing is while sitting in the waiting room to see my doctor a patient with the same surgery, same doctor, same location also got a staff infection. Unfortunately for me I got very, very sick and had to go back into the hospital; to have it cleaned out and spent a week plus in the hospital. I aslo had to have 30 % of my repair removed due to how deep the infection was!

    I had the usual folks rounding each day and much to my surprise these folks would try and touch my wound with bare hands and not even washing before trying to do so. I politely asked the team rounding if they knew why I was here They responed yes and I then politely asked the doctor to kindly wash his hands with hot soapy water and glove up.

    I do believe this is prevenable in many situations and if the healthcare workers could take the minute it takes to properly wash and follow protocol as far as washing between patient vistis we woud all benefit.

    • Moishe Kahan

      Stick up for the our rights, who then if not careless “health care” workers are to blame for sky rocket medical problems?

      • len

        Tell your doctors to WASH their hands!!

  • Donna

    My 86-year old mother-in-law went into the hospital 2 weeks ago with back pain from a fracture. Caught pneumonia, then into ICU, where she caught C-DIFF. Even in ICU!!! She was just moved to a nursing home yesterday and STILL HAS IT and is still experiencing diarrhea and intense intestinal pain. As the article states, she feels like she is dying and just wants to die; has lost the will to live. Still no relief in sight from C-Diff; been on the antibiotics for a week now and to no avail.

    People must be educated about this, and as Buddy stated, do not be afraid to ask that all staff members who handle their care, wash their hands and glove-up and not be afraid of hurting feelings. That is the LEAST of their worries.

    • Ed

      About two years so, my wife caught C.diff in the classic manner. A doctor prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic for fingernail fungus, which killed all the beneficial intestinal bacteria. She then visited a friend in a local hospital where she picked up the C-diff. With all the classic symptoms, and tests for everything except an intestinal infection, she then spent three days in that same hospital, and they never diagnosed her condition! When her blood pressure dropped to 55/30, and over the doctor’s objection, I took her to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville where they diagnosed her condition immeditely. The medication they prescibed caused severe hives… which was equally unpleasant. She still has preiodic re-occurrences, and possibly always will.. It is mean stuff!

    • lois

      How long did it take your Mother to recover from C.diff ? This is Jan. 2012 and I have had c.diff since mid Dec. I am on the vanomycin and have days remaining…but I still have cramps and soft stools.

  • Nancy

    In September 2009, I had a total knee replacement & 1 week later had C-Diff. Ended up having C-Diff for over 3 months. It is horrible & depressing. My physician had me follow the BRAT diet (banana, rice applesauce & toast) for 7 – 10 days as well as no dairy products, along with an antibiotic for each bout with C-Diff. Another important ingredient is yogurt which helps put the ‘good’ bacteria into your system. Wish I had tried the yogurt much sooner & the rice (should be white rice!), if I had I probably wouldn’t have had C-Diff quite as long.

    • DAVID

      I hope that you get better. I had a severe case of C-Diff and finally found a doctor who knew what to do. Antibiotics are what caused my case most likely and the 8 day hospital stay. White blood count went over 34 and they didn’t tell me the one after that. The doctor who is in Houston is brilliant and corrected the treatment plan that two other docs were doing. Am on Florastor and Align now which are probiotics. After three weeks, still weak but I am eating almost anything that I want without a problem.

      • david hostetter

        to all infected or who could get infected or for daily use get a ZAPPER FROM it kills all parasites/bacteria/viruses and can end diseases quickly. I was bedridden for 3 1/2 years on antibiotucs for 5 yes and used the zapper once and a sore throat was gone and I haven’t been bedridden since the next morning. I have been using it for 15 years now and only have to replace the battery a couple times a year. It hasn’t let me down yet. nothing can become immuned to it and it kills germs that are resistant to antibiotics.

      • Beverly

        Hi David, Good to hear you are on Align. Hubby just had second bout of diverticulitis in 6 months, both requiring hospitalization. This second go round made him have about 20 episodes of diarrhea in 24 hours. I was beginning to wonder if it was a hospital bug as well, but he has been on Flagyl and Levaquin. Those are some pretty strong antibiotics. His primary recommended the Align and he has been doing much better – well enough to go back to work. I am trying to research Align. I thought I knew a lot about probiotics, but this is a new one on me.

      • d farrell

        who was the Houstan doctor that helped you and how can I get in touch with him or her? Thanks for your help.

  • Maureen

    I recently had C-diff from being on antibiotics following surgery. At first I thought it was a stomach bug but it just wouldn’t go away. I have been off the antibiotic for about one week but still don’t feel myself. I still feel tired and still not able to eat without having to go to the bathroom. How long does that take???

    • health care worker

      Take probiotics and cross your fingers. It’s the antibiotics that got you into this mess and until the beneficial flora is back doing its job, the C-Diff will keep taking hold

      • Jo

        After foot surgery in December I became really sick with “something” in my stomach and was nauseated for six weeks. I finally remembered taking probiotics a few years ago for stomach problems, so I bought a refrigerated bottle at Whole Foods. Within a couple of days I was no longer sick. Haven’t felt like I was going to vomit ever since.

      • Jim

        Excellent advice. Strong immune systems and good “gut health” will protect anyone contemplating elective surgery.

    • Linda

      My Mother developed c-diff in the hospital 6 years ago, while being hospitalized from a heart attack. She was in and out of the hospital for 3 months. She is still suffering the side effects and has bouts of recurrence. She has yogurt several times a day and lives on pins and needles thinking she will have a serious bout any day. .

      • peggy

        Eating yogurt is great but these types of bacteria need a much higher dose of probiotics than yogurt. Not only that most people can’t stand the taste of plain yogurt so they get the kind with sugar and fruit added. bacteria, and fungus loves sugar to feed on. make sure you get the kind that has to go in the frig, otherwise the good bacteria in the probiotic is most likely dead.

    • Alyssa

      I had C-Diff 2 years ago and it took me over a year to start feeling like myself again. I struggled a lot with fatigue afterwards and they did a lot of tests on me and started giving me Vitamin B-12 shots, which has really helped. And, be very gentle on your digestive system. It takes a long time for it to get back to “normal” and you may have to change some of your eating habits. I had IBS before I got C-Diff and now it’s much worse than before. I take a lot of probiotics (make sure you do research and get good ones! I use the Natren Healthy Trinity ones – you can google them) and am very careful with what I eat. Hope that helps and that you feel better quickly!

  • Frank Caron

    This C-DIFF is a common as a cold in hospital, Rehab, VA and ALL Nursing homes,
    bleach is the only thing that kills it. My parents live Florida, Haynes City area caught it in Orlando, Tampa hospital and Massachusetts Springfield Hospital and the Holyoke Soldiers Home where he die.

  • Stacey

    I had a C-Section in 2009. About a week after I was home I started to get sick, I thought maybe I had E-Coli because there was an E-Coli scare in the hospital water the time I was there. I had it checked out and found out I had C-Diff. About 2 weeks after finishing the medicine I became deathly sick. I was hospitalized for 5 days with C-Diff. About a month later I was sick again and was hospitalized a second time with C-Diff. It was a terrible experience and hard on my family. It is very sad that I should have been enjoying my family and maternity leave instead of being sick.

  • Sue M

    C-diff is terrible! My elderly mother had it about 2 years ago, and she felt like she was dying. Thank God I knew someone else who had it, whose doctor prescribed Align! You have to replace the good bacteria. The meds kill all the bacteria, but you need to replace the good bacteria to get better. My mom literally feels that her life was saved because this person told me that their doc prescribed Align. She’s been taking Align faithfully ever since. Doctors have to prescribe a probiotic along with the medication to kill the bacteria.

  • Verna S

    In January, I was admitted to the hospital for three days for an inflamed colon. I was on two different antibiotics through an IV. One week later, I was diagnosed with C-diff. C-diff destroyed my appetite, energy and I became depressed. The fact that spores can live on hard surfaces for months is frightening. In addition, it didn’t help the hospital room I stayed in was never cleaned. I since have made a complaint with the infectious department at the hospital. Are the machines they roll into each patients room cleaned? Are the blood pressure cuffs they use on each patient cleaned? Handrails, telephones even the IV pole can easily have C-diff spores. C-diff should be looked just as aggressively as MRSA.

    I have been one week off antibiotics and religiously take Florastor each day. Physically, I feel better each day. However, this disease has taken a mental toll on my psyche.

    On a separate note: There was a PBS special that scientist are developing a solution for hospitals to combat this infection.

    • Brigette Phillips

      Hospitals could always use the time honoured tradition of cleansing and washing. Now there’s an idea. More “solutions” may cause more harm than good.

  • bad news

    This is the start of the end by 2012 around a year from now things will get much worse.
    Two thirds of the global population we be gone. For many reasons. For better or worse this tiny blue marble that we live on will be in big trouble. No need to prepare there is nothing we can do.

  • Noreen

    Before my husband died 2 years ago, he was in/out of hospitals and rehabs after a heart attack followed by a hip fracture. He picked up c-diff at Mass General following a stent procedure. When back in rehab, it amazed me that the nursing staff/aides did not understand c-diff. This was 5 years ago. I researched c-diff and became more educated than his health care workers. I watched in amazement as they took his vitals and then tripped off to the next room to the next patient (target) and it would be just a matter of days before half the floor would have c-diff signs posted outside the doorways. I had to fight for my husband to have his own ‘equipment’ as I didn’t want him to get re-infected if he was lucky enough to respond to the antibiotics. The nursing supervisor hated me. The rehab ‘house’ doctor had him on an antibiotic but once off it for a week, the c-diff was back. I finally found an excellent infectious disease specialist who told me (at that time) vancomycin (in combo with another antibiotic that I do not remember) was the drug of choice but most rehabs don’t use it because vanco is very, very expensive. I insisted. It worked. It’s the only antibiotic that cured him. My husband had c-diff four times before it was finally gone with the vanco. I watched caregivers come into his room and use purell. I asked them if they thought purell killed c-diff. They said yes. How wrong they were. I would nicely try and communicate why they were wrong. When I was with my husband, I requested every one of his caregivers wash with hot water and soap. They hated me. They thought I was a nut case. They didn’t believe me when I told them in a family meeting that c-diff spores lived on door knobs, light switches, equipment, trays, etc. If you know anyone in a hospital or rehab setting, INSIST caregivers wash before and after they touch the patient. I posted a sign on my husband’s door for all caregivers but every time I left the rehab center, the sign would come down. I’d put up another when I returned. I believe the staff didn’t want people to think their caregivers weren’t following protocol. It was a horrible, frustrating time of my life and my husband suffered literally at the ‘hands’ of his caregivers. So sad to watch the c-diff spread. I don’t understand why educating medical personnel about such a deadly infectious disease is so difficult. I’m sorry that it is still such a problem for so many. 5 years ago hospitals and rehab centers finally seemed to be addressing the c-diff issue; I can’t believe that medical personnel still don’t fully understand the ramifications of c-diff and we’re still hearing in February 2009 that c-diff continues to be a major crisis. Some of you have mentioned probiotics which are good preventive supplements to keep the GI track in balance, but they will not cure c-diff. It’s horrible to hear all these stories — WASH YOUR HANDS CAREGIVERS, PLEASE …

  • E.R. (a RN in central MA)

    I am 33 years old and have had c-diff 3 times. Each time it has been worse than before and the last time landed me in the hospital twice for severe dehydration. It has been over four months and I am still suffering intestinal pain and bowel issues although am now testing negative for c-diff. I am a nurse and am very aggressive with my handwashing. The scary part is that I caught it while I was a patient and I was treated like it was no big deal, given a prescritption and told to go home and rest. No warnings about protecting my kids or taking probiotics or anything, In fact no precautions were even taken to keep me away from the other patients when I had to visit the ED. Good thing I had a little knowledge of the severity of the illness otherwise it could have been worse. As a side note- (How I got the infection) I have lupus and was on strong antibiotics for a skin infection and had to visit the hospital for testing (unrelated to c-diff). I was placed in a bed next to a patient with active c-diff, cared for by the same RN/MD team and had the same BP cuff used on me. I should have spoken up for myself but trusted that precautions were being taken. Given my already weak immune system and the fact that my risk developing c-diff was high b/c of the antibiotics anyway I should have NEVER been even placed in that room…..Lesson learned….Advocated for yourself and your family….It will save your life…..

    • Barb

      Dear E. R.
      I am so sorry to hear of your exposure to C-Diff and the subsequent pain it continues you cause you. More media attention is needed. And we need to spread the word that those hand-sanitizers do not work against C-diff.
      I wish you continued healing.

    • Noreen

      E.R. Protocol calls for ISOLATION of c-diff patients … can’t believe they co-habitated you with a c-diff positive patient. Although 5 years ago when they isolated my husband, caregivers still entered his room with equipment they took room to room. Again, lack of education about c-diff. Knowledge is good and you now know, so protect yourself and tell your medical team what they need to do because most caregivers still don’t understand. That’s why c-diff is still rampant and we’re hearing about it on the news in 2009.

  • Noreen

    … sorry, my last comment typed 2009 … meant to type 2011 … Noreen

    • Rose Melborne

      What if those responsible for the infection were libel for the medical bills?
      Like, hospital staff not washing their hands, the hospital rooms not cleaned properly, consequently, C-DIFF is easily transmitted to patient….
      I bet the administration would make sure the rooms were sterilized properly.
      Ditto for STAPH so frequently passed to patients by surgeons / nurses, etc…

  • JBD


    • tim

      You don’t understand infection or bacterial strains. Please take some time to learn.

    • Deborah Sobwick

      My husband had this problem and he had to to take vankomicen for the rest of his life, and there are plently of caregivers in hospitals that don’t care whether they wash their hands or not,

    • E.R. (a RN from central MA)

      That is not 100% true. Yes we all naturally have c-diff in our gut and there are certain things that make some more susceptible than others however as healthcare workers know you have to be one step ahead of these bugs at all times. You in fact CAN catch c-diff and it IS able to be somewhat contained at this point with proper handwashing and sanatizing of sufaces and enforcing contact precautions. As a nurse I know how difficult and thankless a job in healthcare can be at times but…..the patient is ALWAYS my number 1 priority and if taking that extra minute to wash my hands or advocate for an isolation room MAY prevent a serious infection regardless of whether the patient came in with it or not then that is what I am going to do. There is no need to place blame anywhere. There is a need for education and follow-up on both sides of the hospital bed. Families need to be able to voice their valid concerns and feel safe asking for simple infection control measures to be taken. Hospital workers need to take an active step in the research and educating these patients and in coming up with and enacting policies and procedures that make everyone safe. My eyes were opened when I switched roles from RN to patient. I have the knowledge and I was still terrified and easily swayed by half truths. It really doesn’t matter what infection/bacteria/virus one is talking about. The conclusion is the same….healthcare workers have a responsibility to do what they can to protect themsel;ves and their patients and on the reverse side patients/families have a responsibility and a right to advocate for themselves and educate themselves and hold healthcare accountable for keeping up with the times.

    • anon


  • yiddishlion

    When did they start giving viruses rap names?

    • yiddishlion

      Sorry, I meant bacterium…….

      • SANDI

        The bacteria infection you are making fun of is a severe infection that can caUSE DEATH IN SOME .

      • sick with c.diff

        This is a very serious and painful disease which you have no control over wether you get it or not…..your comment was rude and NOT COOL……beware of KARMA

  • anon

    Doctors are minimizing this..DO NOT LET THEM! Everyone please speak up about this. I contracted C-diff in a Boston hospital at only 36. Almost didn’t make it through and the damage is permanent. The antibiotics that caused it along with proton pump inhibitors were not needed and are often over-prescribed. The team were not washing their hands. I was told very little and the doctors were either uninformed or purposefully deceptive. A probiotic called Saccharomyces Boulardii is used in Europe with good results, why not in U.S.? Flagyl, used to treat C-diff is a very harsh medication and is becoming ineffective due to a new drug resistant strain. Losing one’s colon should not be the price of receiving medical care. Don’t let purposeful ignorance rule the day educate yourself it could save someone’s life, perhaps your own.

    • Cher

      I’m so sorry Donna and all who have or are suffering form this. It is real. My dad died form it and my MOm almost did. Both were in the hospital at the time. Dads was in brain ICU and MOm recovering from hip replacement
      Mm lives downstaris and we are clean,
      I;ve been suffering form monthly UTIs, the newest antibiotic made me deathly ill even tho I was taking anti fingals; they didnt work. I was inthe local ER twice nad they let me come home ea time I became deathly ill. I am now home and havent even been able to drin water even a sip results in virulant diahrrea. I was up entier night with fever of 100.9, chills, body terribly aching and sensitive, horrid stomach aches and cramping etc etc. I feel like death. I am dehydrdrated. The pain spec uro gyn who gave em the antiboitic referred me to the GI doc; they wont see me til Nov as I was ill and cancelled once or twice withthem. Pardon me for being chronically ill. Called PCP they told me I am so far out of the Network they cant get med recs so wil lnot advise me. SO here I am. I may not be tomorow however as this is quite quite real I assure you. I am defreed in MLS and HS by the way. I have studied this in school. Its not doign me much good as I had to drop med school plans due to illness and I cant treat myself. Sad situation how they downplay this and many do die form it honestly. Cher

  • R.Gross

    One cure with a high rate of success is to inoculate the infected bowel with healthy flora. This is done by a poop transplant. No lie. Sounds gross by its accomplished by way of a intubation.

    • Will

      There is an article about fecal transplanting in this month’s Discover Magazine. Seems to be highly successful.

    • SueDonim

      That’s right. They did that to me. I had forgotten. Don’t recall the proper name for the treatment, but that’s what they did

  • JR

    My mother contracted this from a hospital stay and she was given some amazingly expensive antibiotics to combat it. Whenever the prescribed amount ran out, it would come back. I looked up this virus and read that it can shield itself from antibiotics, when the antibiotics go away, then it removes the shield and comes back. I told my mother about “pulse” dosing, taking the prescribed amount of antibiotics for a day, then stopping for a day, then taking them again. After a couple days of pulse dosing, the virus was finally gone for good.

  • SueDonim

    Had a bout of C Diff about 5 years ago after having a tooth extraction. Don’t know when I caught the C Diff. Probably at an after school hospital job 20 years ago. Anyway, the anti-biotic for the tooth extraction killed the good stuff and C Diff went wild. I felt like my guts were turned inside out and had to go to ER. A change in meds + pro-biotic did the trick, but I was as weak as a puppy for 2 weeks. FWIW, I am healthy and in mid-40s

    • Jen

      what antibiotic were you on?

  • connectthedots

    Google fecal transplant. A calgary doctor has had widespread success with treating Cdiff with this procedure.

    • Colleen

      I had a fecal transplant in July 2010, after suffering from c diff since Novemember of 2008. I contracted c diff from taking Clindamyacin, an antibiotic prescribed by my dentist. I went throught four rounds of other antibiotic treatments including vancomyacin, with no positive results. Four months after the transplant I was feeling great and tested negative in multiple samples. Unfortunately in the last six weeks I have experienced a return of my symptoms but am still testing negative. It seems they are really at al oss on how to treat me now because I cant start taking antibiotics again, as this would almost certainly cause a return of c diff. I am now taking meds to control my diarrhea, a probiotic to help try and get some balance, and zantac to control heartburn and indigestion (another result of my unbalanced gut). I am feeling like I have to learn to live this way which is no way to live. And reading how many people die from the disease is really scary.

      • Susan Bernal

        Dear Colleen. I also take enzymes and I am managing well. Also I make sure I drink water and eat good fiber. My story is your story. Susan

  • Michelle

    The problem with c. difficile is that alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t do anything to it. Caretakers must wash their hands withs soap and water to keep it from spreading.

    Unfortunately, most hospital workers rely heavily on the wall-mounted foam dispensers and have lost the habit of frequent handwashing.

    • Ash

      I am a nurse and we do use foam in between unless a patient has been diagnosed with Cdiff. The foam is easier on our hands and kills mostly everything…except CDIFF. I frequently wash my hands and consequently, my hands have patches of open skin that leave ME susceptable to infection.

      I have worked in several facilities, both acute & long-term, in different states and they all have similar policies regarding handwashing.

      One thing that we need to look closer at is the process of cleaning the room: keyboards, phones, bedside tables, railings. These are more likely to be contaminated than our hands.

  • kiwi.doc

    there is a new treatment for C. difficile infections, its called a faecal transfusion, which basically involves taking a healthy persons poo and placing it in the colon of the sick persons.

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