What is C. diff?
Previously named Clostridium difficile, Clostridioides difficile (often called C. diff) is a toxin-producing bacteria. It forms spores that can live a long time outside the body. These spores are not killed by stomach acid and can infect the intestines.
The bacteria is common. Healthy people do not typically become ill. Usually, infections follow antibiotic use. Older adults in hospitals or long-term care facilities are the most vulnerable. Watery diarrhea is the most common symptom and can range from mild to severe. In rare cases, C. diff infections can be fatal.
C. diff is not a reportable condition.
Providers do not typically need to report C. diff cases. However, our public health consultants are available to provide information on infection control and prevention. For more information, call (253) 798-6410.