In the age of COVID-19, it can be hard to think about any other threat to human health than the one staring us right in the face.
According to the New York Times, over 7 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus and approximately 250,000 people have lost their lives over it. Needless to say, then, this particular infection is worth the concern and concerted effort to slow the spread.
There are, however, other threats that exist in our environment, outside of the coronavirus. These illnesses, if left unnoticed, have the ability to claim lives, in much the same way as the coronavirus.
One illness of particular concern is known as C.Diff, or Clostridioides difficile. Sadly, this illness seems to be increasing, even among COVID-19 patients, as medical workers and healthcare professionals scramble to figure out why. What’s worse is that many of the symptoms of C.Diff present similarly to the coronavirus, making it difficult to detect.
C.Diff, or Clostridioides difficile, is a type of bacteria that upsets the normal and healthy operation of bacteria in the colon. When in full swing, C.Diff can present itself in a variety of ways, including diarrhea and inflammation of the colon. Fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and nausea are also common symptoms associated with the onset of C.Diff.
Risk Factors for C.Diff
Traditionally, those most at risk for C.Diff tended to be 65 or older, have been recently hospitalized, have a weakened immune system, are on antibiotics or have had C.Diff before. Nevertheless, there has been an increase in cases among even the young and healthy.
How Is C.Diff Contracted
There are multiple ways in which C.Diff can be dispersed from person-to-person. Because this illness is contagious, those who are infected with it can transmit it through spores. C.Diff is routinely picked up through feces and can be spread by those who potentially aren’t washing their hands correctly, or have poor hygiene habits.
As these individuals touch food and hard surfaces, C.Diff spores can migrate and infect other people. Some earlier studies and research even hint at the possibility of C.Diff having the ability to be contracted through water vapor. In other words, it may be possible to catch C.Diff airborne.
To prevent transmission, deep, thorough and effective professional cleaning will need to transpire to cleanse the environment of hazardous C.Diff spores, especially considering that they can live on surfaces for up to five months!
C. Diff and Antibiotics
In addition to the aforementioned ways in which C.Diff can be transmitted, there is yet another way in which C.Diff is spread. Oftentimes, C.Diff is caused by repeated use of antibiotics. Though not all kinds of antibiotics cause C.Diff, there are many that do. This is because as the antibiotics work to kill bad bacteria, some of the good bacteria that act as a buffer to bad bacteria spinning out of control are destroyed, too. This allows the bad bacteria, such as C.Diff, to multiply, thus causing painful and uncomfortable symptoms, and sometimes, even death.
Antibiotics and COVID-19
Strikingly, all of this can be connected to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Teena Chopra, M.D., M.P.H. and her medical team of Wayne State University have recently blown the whistle on an alarming new trend. As the coronavirus continues to spread, C.Diff cases seem to be rising as well.
The reason? As coronavirus patients are inducted into hospitals, many medical care staff members are injecting patients with antibiotics as a “just in case” precaution. Yet the University of Michigan confirms that 96.5% of those treated with antibiotics only had the coronavirus without any other conjoint disease, thus rendering the administration of antibiotics unnecessary.
The Fall Out
So, what does this mean for all of us? When it comes to infectious disease, there are certain precautions that one must take in regards to cleanliness to keep these issues at bay. As can be noted by the above scenario, many courageous and heroic health practitioners may unintentionally exasperate health issues, thus creating a domino-like effect on the health of citizens, especially during this uncertain and unprecedented time.
To avoid the need for antibiotics, hospital stays and potential errors on the end of medical teams, it is best to avoid situations like this all together.
This is where professional disinfecting services can play a key role in the health of those living and working in residential or business communities and confinements. As diseases continue to morph, spread and infect, it becomes important, now more than ever, to eradicate bad bacteria, such as C.Diff and the coronavirus, by any means necessary.
As such, hiring well-trained, knowledgeable and skillful cleaning services to address the needs for your business, home or establishment is crucial during these trying times. By using the right techniques, equipment and cleansers, a business, home or infrastructure can be rid of harmful and disease-causing agents before they begin to claim the lives of those around us.
To further mitigate your risk for contracting C.Diff, be sure to wash your hands before every meal, and before touching your eyes, nose, mouth or ears.
Remember, those with C.Diff can spread germs to anything they touch if they aren’t practicing good hygiene skills. Since you are unable to control the hygiene of others, it will be up to you to wash your hands on a frequent basis, especially before eating, to keep from contracting the illness.
Keep in mind, however, that though you may be washing your hands, surfaces contaminated with C.Diff will remain infected for at least five months until they are properly cleansed. Thus, buildings, residential areas and facilities will still need to be thoroughly disinfected for C.Diff to cease to become a threat to those living or working in close quarters or shared places. As always contact your local biohazard cleaning company for more information and details.