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Why is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection on the rise?

When a person takes antibiotics, good germs that protect against infection are destroyed for several months. During this time, people getting medical care can get sick from C. difficile if the stronger germ strain is spread to them from contaminated surfaces, such as sinks, or from health care providers' hands.

C. difficile germs move with patients from one medical facility to another, potentially spreading infection to other patients. Unnecessary antibiotic use in patients at one facility can increase the chance for C. difficile infections in another facility when patients transfer. Healthcare providers are not always told that a patient has or recently had C. difficile infection when they transfer; therefore, they might not take the right actions to prevent spread.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.