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Clostridium Difficile Infection or CDI Information for the Public

What is CDI?

Clostridium difficile [pronounced Klo-STRID-ee-um dif-uh-SEEL] infection (CDI) or C. Diff is a germ that can cause diarrhea. Most cases of CDI are in patients taking antibiotics.

Symptoms of CDI are watery stools, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and belly pain.

CDI may cause illness, death, increased hospital cost, and more days in the hospital.

CDI can be prevented by:

  1. Only take antibiotics as needed and as prescribed by your health care provider.
  2. Cleaning your own hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating
  3. Make sure that all doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after caring for you.

The Iowa Department of Public Health staff together with the HAI Prevention Steering Committee has created and maintains this website to inform Iowans of the ways the HAIs are prevented. Our goal is to reach out to healthcare provider and the public with accurate and current information in order to increase public confidence and lower CDI infection rates.

CDI Fact Sheets:

For more information on HAI's:

  • Call (515) 242-5935, or
  • 1 (800) 362-2736, or
  • Use the "Contact Us" page to submit questions online.