Mom has C Diff should I avoid being around her?

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My mom is 47 years old. She was diagnosed with C Diff after she was on an antibiotic for a tooth infection. Before she was diagnosed with C Diff, she was having horrible cramps, felt sick to her stomach and diarrhea up to 16xs a day. She thought she was dealing with diverticulitis (because that's what she was supposedly diagnosed with years prior) now they're saying if she had that it would've shown up on her MRIs and what not. So she must have been misdiagnosed and just has been dealing with C Diff this whole time. Finally, after a stool sample she was diagnosed with C Diff. She was then put on Flagyl (for 16 days 4xs a day) she continued to have diarrhea for weeks. Her doctor then prescribed her Vancomycin (she was on that for 14 days.) she is still having Diarrhea but not as much (mostly just in the morning)...(she has been on very strong probiotics this whole time as well so that's good) she just ordered another stool sample kit to see if she still tests positive for it. If she does, I believe she will be getting the fecal macrobiotic transplant. But in the mean time should I be steering clear of her? She is not in the hospital. She mostly stays at home and tries to go about her normal life. But my concern is, I have a one year old daughter. I'm nervous she will somehow get it and or I get it and pass it to her and others. I'm just confused on what to do. I read so much about how contagious it is but then other sites say it's not likely to get it from others by physical contact. Any advice is appreciated!!

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Top Answer
C Diff is hard to cure. I have had two family member who got it post op. both required a few weeks of IV antibiotics followed by 2 weeks of oral antibiotics.

Just one quick thought, taking probiotics and antibiotics at the same time can be a problem. Double check with the pharmacist about the timing of the two medications. I was told not to take Probiotics within a couple hours of antibiotics

For your child, I would talk to your doctor. If it were me, I would stay safe and wait until Mum's stool tests were clear for her to visit, I would continue to visit without the baby. Hygiene is so important to prevent the spread and a child that age is putting everything in their mouth. A flip side to that, my Granny had Chronic Leukemia, when my children had their Polio vaccine, we had to stay away from her as the baby could shed the vaccine and make Granny sick. We had to wait 6 weeks after each one before visiting. I could visit, just not the child.

Speaking as someone who has chronic IBS, your Mum's digestive tract may not go back to 'normal'. It may remain sensitive to various foods and medications, stress plays a big role in digestive health too.
I would also check with your daughter's pediatrician. I personally wouldn't risk it. Fecal transplants are amazing things that can totally heal people with different colon issues. Good luck to your mom - that sounds horrible. I had unexplained diarrhea a couple of years ago that lasted exactly two weeks. Had a stool sample and everything came back negative (no MRSA or C-Diff). But it was pretty rough for those two weeks. It stopped as fast as it started and I never did figure out what it was.
Thank you for the advice! I appreciate it. We (multiple people in my family including my daughter) have been around her A LOT and none of us have least not yet. No one even told my mom that it was super contagious or anything we just read it online this week that it was. So now I'm a little freaked out. She's had the symptoms of it all since September, the docs kept telling her it was diverticulitis though, which ended up not being true. So now that we know it's C Diff. It worries me, since we haven't been avoiding contact with her...
For guidance you can visit for reading material re C.diff.
C-diff is contagious but it usually an illness that passes from one already sick person to another already sick person. People with weakened immune systems, the elderly, etc. Patients in a hospital or a nursing home are the people who usually get it and the germ is carried from one patient to the next via nurses: on their clothes, hands, instruments, etc.

I worked in home health care for a lot of years and had patients with c-diff and I never had a problem with it.

Just use basic precautions like hand washing. It's not airborne, you and your family can't catch it by being in the same room as your mom. Even if she sneezed on you you wouldn't catch it. You would have to come into contact with her fecal material and inadvertently ingest it via contaminated food or poor bathroom hygiene.
Thank you, that is reassuring. I've just heard that the spores are very contagious and stick to your clothes and that's how you can get it. My mom is very clean and bleaches everything after she uses the bathroom or anything though. So I feel much better knowing it would have to be in food or something consumed. I appreciate your input. Thanks again!
Keep your daughter away. It can be on surfaces everywhere from just your mom touching things even if she has washed her hands. Most people do not wash hands properly and this is critical with infections as serious as C-diff. For example - antimicrobial wash under finger nails, between fingers, around thumb -- top of hands all for a total of 60 seconds soapy exposure -- frankly I don't know anyone that really does that -- so you may be removing alot of contamination -- but still have a few remaining bacterial cells on your hands that you are transferring to table tops, stove, sink and door handles, remotes, phone, etc. -- and how will your daughter stay away from a grandma's hug -- not likely.

If you are around mom - suggest you wash hands frequently especially before you leave and maybe change clothes when you arrive home.
Hand wash frequently. Your daughter is still too young to be mindful of hand washing an I am sure she touches a lot of surfaces. The only way to kill the spores is with a bleach solution and cleaning will require gloves. Importtant washing surfaces include bat, kitchen and doorknobs.
My husband had C-Diff from antibiotics too. He was incontinent both ways, so I was in direct contact with it. I made sure to wear well-fitting gloves and dispose of them and anything else involved in the process of changing him in a grocery and trash bag.  I scrubbed my hands and arms up to the elbows and used bleach to disinfect his bed and his linens.
Your mother is young to have C diff and seems to have been pretty unlucky, poor thing.

This must be worrying for you, with your little daughter to think of; but on the other hand... Setting up complex infection barriers now is a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, isn't it? If it were that easily transmissible you'd already be infected, surely.

Another reason people in hospitals and nursing homes are especially vulnerable is that larger numbers of them are taking antacids and PPIs, which are marvellous at protecting the stomach from ulcers and relieving symptoms of heartburn and indigestion but disastrous when it comes to what everybody's stomach acid is there for, namely killing pathogens. You and your daughter, both healthy young humans, are wandering around with a bug-killing bath of hydrochloric acid guarding your gut, which is likely to be a lot more effective than disinfectant wipes or hand gel.

If your daughter or you are under the weather with a cold or anything like that then perhaps avoid contact then. Other than that, keep your sense of proportion - we are all of us carrying inert infections all the time, there are thousands upon thousands of people incubating C diff, MRSA and all of the other terror-bugs, and most of the time you will never know who they are. At least you know your mother does practice good hygiene!

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