What do we know about c. difficile?
- Clostridium Difficile (CD) is a toxin-producing bacterium that can cause colitis – an infection that can damage the lining of the colon.
- Super-strains of this bug have been discovered in recent years.
- Symptoms of CD infection (CDI) include fever, diarrhoea and abdominal pain, while complications can include dehydration, colon rupture and abdominal infection. In very severe cases CDI may be life-threatening.
- According to the Centre for Digestive Diseases in NSW, some people can be carriers of the C. Difficile bug and otherwise be relatively well, in some cases suffering only mild symptoms – which could be misdiagnosed without proper testing.
- Our natural bowel flora provides a protective environment by flushing out the CD bug. However, where antibiotics that destroy natural bowel flora have been administered, people are more likely to suffer CD infection.
Who gets CDI, and how is it spread?
- CDI is mostly contracted in hospitals and health care settings. The Centre for Digestive Diseases states that up to 30% of patients who have spent some time in hospitals may leave as carriers, especially in cases where they have been given antibiotics for another infection. This means that a person could leave a hospital as a carrier and spread the bug to people outside the hospital setting.
- The infection is spread when someone touches another person, surface or object that harbours the bug, and then touches their own mouth.
How is CDI treated?
- CDI is not always easy to treat. In some cases people can remain carriers for life. Some treatments will relieve symptoms but not necessarily eradicate the bug.
- Withdrawal of antibiotics may need to be done, to allow the natural bowel bacteria to recover – which may or may not be effective. Anti-microbial and / or anti-clostridium medications are prescribed in some cases. Other treatments include absorbing agents to reduce the impact of toxins, probiotics, and surgery in severe cases.
- According to the Medical Journal of Australia, hospital environments can become very contaminated with CD spores without cleaning methods to remove or kill spores.
Guarding against CDI
Preventing the CD bug from spreading at your workplace can be done by keeping the work environment as scrupulously clean and hygienic as possible. Professional commercial cleaning and disinfection of surfaces such as counters, kitchen tops, bathrooms and door handles should be done on a regular basis. Keeping indoor humidity within healthy levels may also be required for preventing the growth of spores.
Make sure to keep your workplace healthy and hygienic through professional commercial cleaning services. Contact us at Jan Pro for a quote on commercial cleaners in Sydney if required.