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1. Clostridium difficile (C. dif) a. What is Clostridium difficile? Clostridium difficile is a gram positive bacteria of the genus Clostridium. C. difficile bacteria naturally reside in the body and this bacteria is capable of forming spores. b. What are the symptoms of C. difficile disease? Symptoms of C. difficile disease include watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain/tenderness. With the elderly population being more susceptible to complications of dehydration, this disease is of great concern for them. c. How is C. difficle disease transmitted? C. difficile is transmitted through contact. Infection can occur if surfaces become contaminated with feces and an individual touches that surface and introduces the bacteria into their mouth or mucous membranes. This is important to remember when using commodes, bath tubs, and rectal thermometers. All of these things can be reservoirs for C. difficile spores. d. How can one prevent the spread of C. difficile infection? Preventing the spread of C. difficile can be accomplished by being diligent with hand washing and by cleaning surfaces regularly with disinfectants. Hypochlorite based disinfectants have shown the most success in hospital cleansing routines. Hospitals must take special precautions when cleaning a room after a patient with C. difficile has occupied it. Patients with C. difficile will usually be on isolation precautions in a private room or be paired up with another patient who is positive for C. difficile. e. What is the difference between C. difficile colonization and C. difficile-associated disease? C. difficile colonization differs from C. difficile associated disease in several ways. A patient with C. difficile colonization tests positive for C. difficile but has no clinical symptoms. C. difficile colonization is more…...

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