People getting medical care can catch serious infections called healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). One type of HAI – caused by the germ C. difficile – was estimated to cause almost half a million infections in the United States in 2011, and 29,000 died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis.
Those most at risk are people, especially older adults, who take antibiotics and also get medical care. CDC provides guidelines and tools to the healthcare community to help prevent Clostridium difficile infections as well as provides resources to help the public safeguard their own health.
Prevention includs wearing gloves and gowns when treating patients with C difficile and cleaning room surfaces with EPA-approved, spore-killing disinfectants where C.difficile patients are treated.