Symptoms of Clostridium perfringens infection

Learn about the symptoms of Clostridium perfringens infection, what to look for and what to do if you become ill.

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The symptoms of Clostridium perfringens infection

Symptoms associated with Clostridium perfringens may include:

  • diarrhea
  • pain and cramps
  • stomach bloating
  • increased gas
  • nausea
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue (tiredness)

Being infected with Clostridium perfringens does not generally cause vomiting or fever.

The symptoms of infection usually start 10 to 12 hours after contact with the bacteria. Symptoms may start as early as 6 hours or as long as 24 hours after contact.

Symptoms typically last 8 to 12 hours, but can last as long as 1 to 2 weeks for the very young or elderly.

Most people will completely recover from infection with Clostridium perfringens within 24 hours. In rare cases, severe dehydration (water loss) may occur, requiring hospitalization. The elderly and young children are more likely to suffer from the complications of dehydration.

What to do if you become ill

If you have signs of illness and think you have Clostridium perfringens infection, see your health care provider.

If you become ill, drink plenty of water or fluids to prevent dehydration from diarrhea.

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