Clostridium Difficile: A Serious Bacterium

Clostridium difficile

There is an array of antibiotics –Erythromycin, Azythromycin, Ampicillin, Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Methicillin, Doxycycline, Tetracycline, etc… -out there to treat bacterial infections. However, extended or prolonged use of them is very dangerous in that the patient could become infected with this bacterium called Clostridium difficile or C difficile or C diff.

In the intestine, as we all know, we do have our “normal flora” –good bacteria necessary for life sustainment. What the extended or prolonged use of antibiotics does, it destroys these bacteria, making the patient very prone or susceptible to being infected with Clostidrium difficle.

The shell of this bacterium is just as hard as the shell of a crab, making it very hard to kill because antibiotics will have difficulty to penetrate it.

A ruptured inflamed colon

As a result of this bacterium, the patient will develop diarrhea, which, if not stopped urgently, could cause inflammation of the colon or enterocolitis or colitis, which could cause the colon to burst open, rupture or break open. So it is imperative that we stop the diarrhea to prevent further complications. To achieve that, we use right away the combination of two very strong antibiotics –Vancomycin and Flagyl (Metronidazole).

When caring for these patients infected with Clostidrium difficile, it is highly recommended that all necessary measures are used to prevent direct contact with them. In the medical profession, these types of measures are called “contact isolation,” implying the use of a protective gown and gloves because of the contagious nature of the bacterium. Some, those who cannot stand the foul smell of the diarrhea, would even use a regular surgical mask.

Like everything in life, you can use things, but not abuse them. Antibiotics are not candies, so you should not be taking them for fun. While they are good to treat bacterial infections, abusing them could have negative drawbacks on your health. When you are prescribed them, follow thoroughly the instructions given to you.

These drugs are so potent that they must not be sold to people without a prescription issued by a licensed medical professional. By the same token, they must not be sold by people without a state-issued licence authorizing them to sell them. That explains the reason as to why I am so against the anarchic way these street vendors in Haiti are allowed to sell these drugs to anybody having money to buy. This is unacceptable, and it becomes a public health hazard, which the authorities MUST stop by any necessary means. I do understand everybody is trying to make a living, but you cannot be doing your hustling at the expense of other people’s lives.  So needless to say that the health of the population is in great danger.