Q:

What are some ways to prevent Clostridium difficile in laundry?

A:

Quick Answer

To prevent the spread of Clostridium difficile from soiled clothing or linens, wash the laundry at the highest temperature that is safe for the fabric, use the manufacturer's recommended amount of laundry detergent and add chlorine bleach if it is safe for the fabric. Wash contaminated laundry separately.

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Full Answer

Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that resides in the intestines of most people. It is also known as C. difficile or C. diff. When the flora of the intestines gets disrupted by antibiotic use or a weakened immune system, Clostridium difficile multiplies and releases toxins that damage the intestinal lining. This results in diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever.

Clostridium difficile is highly contagious. It is spread when people come into contact with infected fecal matter. Frequent hand washing helps prevent the spread of the illness. Areas like the bathroom should be cleaned with chlorine bleach. Clostridium difficile is only spread through clothing or linens if the person with the infection soils the items with fecal matter.

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