Clostridium Difficile, more commonly known as “C. Diff”
What are “Superbugs”?
“Superbug” is a term used by the medical community to describe strains of pathogenic bacteria that are resistant to the majority of antibiotics commonly used today. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause skin infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, kidney failure, even death are some of the dangers we now face.
The Mayo Clinic states: “Antibiotic resistance is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be slowed, but not stopped. Over time, bacteria adapt to the drugs that are designed to kill them and mutate to ensure their survival. This makes previously standard treatments for bacterial infections less effective, and in some cases, ineffective.”
One of the many serious threats to our health and wellness today is the “Superbug” Clostridium Difficile or “C. Diff”.
What is C. Diff?
C. Diff is a pathogenic bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. Illnesses from this pathogen most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long-term care facilities and typically occurs after use of antibiotic medications. Patients receiving medical care can acquire serious infections called “Healthcare-Acquired Infections” (HAIs), such as C. Diff. However, studies show increasing rates of C. diff infection among people traditionally not considered an elevated risk, such as younger and healthier individuals without a history of antibiotic use or exposure to healthcare facilities.
What makes C. Diff bacteria different?
Unlike most bacteria or viruses that need the friendly confines of the human body to survive, Clostridium Difficile is unique by transitioning itself into a spore form. This spore transition allows the bacteria to survive outside the body 5 months to a year, until it finds “friendly human confines,” again. As this bacterial spore remains viable within the indoor environment, people can become infected or re-infected through surface contact or airborne transmission.
How is C. Diff transmitted?
The CDC states: “Any surface, device, or material that becomes contaminated with the C. Diff bacterium may serve as a reservoir for the Clostridium difficile spores. C. Diff spores are transferred to patients mainly via the hands of healthcare personnel who have touched a contaminated surface or item.”
The Mayo Clinic states: “Spores from C. difficile bacteria are passed in feces and spread to food, surfaces and objects when people who are infected don’t wash their hands thoroughly.”
American Gastroenterological Association states: “If someone touches a surface contaminated with C. diff, they may accidentally ingest the bacteria. This doesn’t mean they will get sick, but they could still carry the bacteria and be able to spread it.”
How common and how serious is a C. Diff infection?
Each year in the United States, about a half million people get sick from C. Diff, with an estimated 30,000 deaths annually. In recent years, C. Diff infections have become more frequent, severe and difficult to treat.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with C. Diff, the possibility for re-infection or transmitting the infection to others can be very high if their indoor environment is not properly treated.
I have C. Diff…
What should I do now?
Prevent re-infection and further transmission:
When C. Diff spores are spread throughout your home, office or medical facility, you may not know where to find the spores or how to eradicate them.
The CDC States:
Clean room surfaces with EPA approved, spore-killing disinfectant (such as bleach), where C. difficile patients are treated. The CDC cleaning ratio 1:10 solution; 1 cup bleach to 9 cups of water and used on non-porous surfaces over ten minutes and mixed fresh daily for effective disinfection of C. Diff.
This may be a harder task than originally thought;
The dwell time for surfaces to remain wet in bleach solution can change the color of or damage most materials as bleach is highly corrosive. Also, C. Diff spores can float freely through the air and settle in areas called “reservoirs” where spores can survive for months with the ability to float freely again once disturbed. Disinfecting with a broad-spectrum hospital-grade disinfection system that can be fogged to disinfect the entirety of a room, you can greatly lower the risk of C. Diff re-infection or further transmission by disinfecting all surfaces as well as the air.
Are there any solutions to possible C. Diff contamination?
SteraMist™ BIT™ EPA Reg. No. 90150-2
SteraMist™ and Binary Ionization Technology® (BIT™) Solution is the EPA registered hospital-grade disinfection system designed specifically for hospital-healthcare disinfection with the ability to deliver a 6-log (99.9999%) microbial kill to tested pathogens such as C. Diff. This state of the art disinfection system utilizes Activated Ionized Hydrogen Peroxide technology to provide the highest efficacy available in bacteria, virus and spore eradication. The technology behind SteraMist™ was originally developed to effectively decontaminate weaponized biological agents such as Anthrax, thus making for a reliable resource for Health Care Facilities and residential clients to combat infectious disease. This disinfection system will eradicate, not mutate, the pathogens, bacteria, viruses or mold that may be left behind with manual cleaning without leaving a residue. As part of our environmental services, this hospital-grade disinfection service is available for your home, office or facility.
Decontamination and Disinfection services offered by ADC Environmental Solutions, the Environmental Services branch of Chavez Restoration.
• SteraMist™ BIT™ disinfection; This state of the art disinfection system uses a Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) known as Hydroxyl Radicals. These ROS damages and disrupts the cell wall of pathogenic organisms through oxidation, eradicating pathogens such as C. Diff.*
• Airborne Spore Removal- Air scrubbing and HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration, which traps and removes spores from the air.*
• Physical Spore Removal- HEPA vacuuming and Hot Water Extraction of soft goods; upholstered furniture, mattress and box springs, carpeting, etc.*
• Cleaning and Disinfection of hard surfaces; Physical removal of the bioload and residues from hard, non-porous surfaces such as walls, horizontal surfaces, flooring and/or contents, followed by disinfection with SteraMist.*
*All services are tailored to fit your budget; services are varied and may be incorporated into a comprehensive cleaning and disinfection protocol or can serve as individual stand-alone services.
Infection control or indoor environmental concerns?
Chavez ADC Environmental Solutions has the experience, the ability, and the state of the art equipment to decontaminate and disinfect your home or office! We pride ourselves on meeting our client’s needs and exceeding their expectations. It is more than our philosophy- this is a daily practice at ADC Environmental Solutions, a Chavez Company.