Healthcare-Associated Infections: Clostridioides difficile

Reportable by Providers and laboratories
Healthcare-Associated Infections: Clostridium difficile

Infectious agent:  Clostridioides difficile

Description of illness: Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium that causes inflammation of the colon, known as colitis. Symptoms include: watery diarrhea (at least three bowel movements per day for two or more days), fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain/tenderness. Clostridioides difficile is shed in feces. Any surface, device, or material (e.g., toilets, bathing tubs, and electronic rectal thermometers) that becomes contaminated with feces may serve as a reservoir for the Clostridioides difficile spores. Clostridioides difficile spores are transferred to patients mainly via the hands of healthcare personnel who have touched a contaminated surface or item. Clostridioides difficile can live for long periods on surfaces.

This disease/condition should be reported through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).