Is C Diff contagious? It is not a ‘fast spreading’ infection in normal circumstances but it can very contagious when it results in diahrrea. C Diff can be carried by many people without it making them ill. It can cause infection when ‘good’ bacteria within the intestine are killed or inhibited by antibiotic treatment for another illness. C Difficile infection will then emerge.
Like e.coli bacteria it often arrives in the intestine via the fecal/oral route. The hand picks up the bacteria from a surface that has minute amounts of fecal contamination. The bacteria can then find it’s way into the mouth via touch, food etc.
Family and friends of a C Diff sufferer can protect themselves by hand washing. However careful hospitals or carers are there is likely to be some fecal contamination around a c diff patient. The most effective protection occurs when c diff is removed near the end of its journey to a new victim. Hand hygiene is therefore vital.