Please, please don't try this at home!

Today, I ran across a letter in the American Journal of Infection Control that left me nearly apoplectic. In the letter, the authors argue that nonhospitalized patients with C. difficile infection should be on contact precautions while AT HOME! Let's think this through this, people. Are we going to confine an elderly person to their bedroom, and wear gowns and gloves when we walk into that room? If grandma eats dinner with the family are they all going to sit at the table wrapped in plastic? What about Fluffy the cat? Gowns and gloves for her, too?

There's actually an excellent population-based study that evaluated the risk of infection in household contacts. Over 2,000 C. difficile index cases were evaluated, and the risk of infection in household contacts was 0.4%. Let's use some common sense: if the infected person can have their own bathroom that would be great, clean the bathroom with bleach, and practice good hand hygiene. But for God's sake, let's not make it a leprosarium.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Let us not stretch matters of transmission based precautions this far!!!


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