Clostridioides difficile was previously named Clostridium difficile. It is often called C. diff. It is a toxin-producing bacterium. It forms spores that can live a long time outside the body. These spores are not killed by stomach acid. They can infect the intestines.
The bacteria are common. They do not typically make healthy people ill. Infections usually follow antibiotic use. Older adults in hospitals or long-term care facilities are the most vulnerable. Watery diarrhea is the most common symptom. It can range from mild to severe. In rare cases, C. diff infections can be fatal.
C. diff is not a notifiable condition.
Providers typically do not need to report cases of C. diff. For information about infection control and prevention, call (253) 798-6410.