After C. diff: Caring for Yourself and Others

Key points

  • You should only resume everyday life (return to work or school) after symptoms stop.
  • About 1 in 6 people who've had C. diff will get infected again in the subsequent 2-8 weeks.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before you eat and every time after you use the bathroom.

When to resume everyday life

You should return to work or school only when your symptoms have stopped.

Important conversations to have

Can I still spread C. diff after treatment?

The risk of spreading C. diff after completing treatment is low. But if you're carrying the germ, even without symptoms, you can still spread it to others and should follow prevention measures.

After treatment, should I be tested again to make sure I'm cured?

No, because once you recover from your C. diff infection, you could still be carrying the germs.

A test would only show the germs are still there, but not whether you're likely to become sick again.

Should I report my C. diff infection to CDC?

No. Contact your local or state health department for information about reporting requirements specific to your state.

How to avoid getting C. diff again

About one in 6 people who've had C. diff will get infected again in the subsequent 2-8 weeks. This can be a relapse of their original infection, or it can happen when they come in contact with C. diff again.

The best way to be sure you don't get C. diff again is to:

  • Work with a healthcare professional to avoid taking unnecessary antibiotics.
  • Tell any healthcare professionals (including primary care provider, dentist's office and others) if you've had a C. diff infection. This important information will help them make the best decisions when prescribing antibiotics in the future.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after every time you use the bathroom and before you eat anything.