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Colorectal Diseases

Is C.diff colitis contagious

11/16/2009

Question:

My mother has been suffering with C.diff colitis for several months. She has been on Flagyl and Vancomycin. It returns after discontinuing anti-biotics. Some medical staff say it isn`t contaigous, some say it is. I`ve read only 3% of the population carry the c.diff spores. My question is, do you think my family are more than likely going to ingest the spores now that we have been in such close contact with her? Thank you

Answer:

C. diff. is definitely contagious; those who are in contact with anyone who has it should adhere to strict handwashing techniques, and possibly even wear gloves- especially if they are at higher risk for acquiring infection (on steroids, immunosuppressed by medications, etc).

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati