Clostridium difficile, or C diff 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, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


People who have other illnesses or conditions requiring prolonged use of antibiotics, and the elderly, are at greater risk of acquiring this disease. The bacteria are found in the feces. People can become infected if they touch items or surfaces that are contaminated with feces and then touch their mouth or mucous membranes. Healthcare workers can spread the bacteria to patients or contaminate surfaces through hand contact.

On the Jan. 17 airing of the Outbreak News This Week Radio show, I was joined by Infection preventionist and freelance writer, Erin Archer Kelser, RN, BSN, CIC who discussed the ABC’s of C. diff to include who is most at risk, how it’s spread, treatment, prevention in hospitals and healthcare settings and the economic toll it takes on the United States.

Check out Erin’s website– Germ Nurse

The Outbreak News This Week Radio Show airs every Sunday at 8 pm ET in the Tampa Bay area on AM 1380 The Biz and online at