Clostridium difficile / C.DIFF decontamination

C. Diff is a stomach bug that can spread easily, affecting people recently treated with antibiotics.

C. Diff is a stomach bug that can spread easily to others. It’s an infection which most commonly affects people recently treated with antibiotics. Therefore, it’s a particular problem in healthcare and social care settings and is often categorised as a hospital-acquired infection.

The bacteria are found in the digestive system of about 1 in every 30 healthy adults. Some antibiotics taken to treat other infections can interfere with the balance of bacteria in the bowel. This can cause the C. diff bacteria to multiply and produce toxins that make the person ill. Its symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea, stomach cramps, loss of appetite and fever. In severe cases, it can cause more serious damage to the bowel.

Once out of the body, the bacteria turn into resistant cells called spores. Unless they're thoroughly cleaned, these spores can survive for long periods on hands, surfaces (such as toilets), objects and clothing. And that’s when they can transfer to someone else and infect them.

There is very specific advice from the NHS about C. Diff and the importance of tackling it in healthcare settings. Online advice recommends anyone who has been infected with C. Diff stays at home until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared up, as that’s when they're most infectious. In hospitals, patients may be isolated.

Tackling bacteria such as C. Diff requires an approach to cleaning that goes beyond superficial cleaning. The REACT Infection Control Service focuses specifically on ensuring that all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected. We use appropriately diluted products which are effective but safe; generally, hypochlorite-based solutions are best for tackling C. Diff.

We follow strict infection control protocols to ensure complete disinfection. In healthcare settings where C. Diff may be found more frequently, we focus our infection control efforts on surgical areas such as operating theatres and post-operative care facilities.

REACT's team always encourage clients to make sure they have a good approach to hygiene. This includes making sure that employees don’t come to work if they’re sick, or that patients and service users report if they become ill. We follow our own advice too, and ensure that all our workers are fit and well when they attend each and every cleaning assignment. Quite simply, we control infections and eliminate pathogens wherever we work.

Clostridium difficile / C.DIFF decontamination