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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Took antibiotics for C Diff infection. Is this a contagious disease?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15705 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 11 Feb 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I just finished a 10 day course of antibiotics for a C Diff infection. I am feeling much better. What concerns me is my 65-year-old mother who helped care for me while I was ill commented that she has had diarrhea today that only bothered her when she eats. I insisted she call her doctor for a C Diff screening, but she is reluctant, not believing she may have contracted it. Is it possible for her to have become infected from me? She is in very good health and very active. These symptoms have not kept her home from work or from other activities. Neither my children nor my husband have come down with it.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 27 minutes later
hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Clostridium difficile is responsible for the development of antibiotic associated diarrhoea and colitis ( inflammation of the colon).
It normally results from disturbance of the gut flora by the use of certain antibiotics. Normal gut flora resists clostridium but antibiotics suppress the normal flora.
Some persons develop symptoms as soon as they use the antibiotics, others may not have symptoms till up to 10 weeks later.

Some persons may become carriers of the bacteria and may or may not develop symptoms.

Increased age (> 60) is associated with an increased risk because of the age associated decline in the immune system.
Based on this fact and the fact that she was your care giver. It may be best that she has the screening test done.

i hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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