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Clostridioides difficile

Disease Information

Clostridioides difficile is a toxin-producing bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions like bowel inflammation and perforation. C. difficile infections are almost always linked to antibiotic and medical care; individuals 65 years of age and those with weakened immune systems or previous infection with C.difficile are most at risk. 

Symptoms include diarrhea for several days, fever, stomach pain, loss of appetite, and nausea.

The organism is responsible for 223,900 infections and 12,800 deaths in the United States every year. C.difficile can spread from person-to-person. C. difficile spores can remain viable in the environment for long periods of time.

Spread of C. difficile infection can be prevented by hand washing with soap and water, using antibiotics only when necessary, and effective healthcare environmental cleaning.

Disease Reporting

As part of Emerging Infections Program population-based surveillance, select counties report C. difficile cases to Oregon Health Authority.

As a part of mandated reporting, Oregon hospitals report C. difficile infections to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).


See Also

CDC Factsheet