Precautions to take to prevent the spread of Clostridium difficile include washing hands with warm water and soap, carefully cleaning surfaces with solutions containing chlorine bleach, and wearing disposable gowns and gloves around patients, according to Mayo Clinic. Avoiding antibiotic use except when they are necessary is another precaution.
Clostridium difficile, bacteria that usually live in the colon, produce spores and toxins that can cause illness in some people, according to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. Cleaning products that do not contain bleach and hand sanitizers with an alcohol base cannot kill C. difficile spores, explains Mayo Clinic. Hospital personnel and visitors need to wash their hands when they leave a patient's room and a bathroom.
Patients taking antibiotics, the elderly and the chronically ill are more likely to contract C. difficile and display symptoms such as diarrhea, lost appetite, nausea and fever, notes Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.