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What is Clostridium difficile?

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Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause a range of symptoms, from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon, states Mayo Clinic. Although illness from the bacterium mostly affects older people, as of 2015, studies show an increase in the number of young people getting infected.

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Symptoms of a mild Clostridium difficile infection include mild abdominal cramps and watery stools more than three times a day for two days, states Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of a severe infection include fever, nausea, dehydration, a swollen abdomen and an elevated white blood cell count. Treatment usually includes a 14-day course of antibiotics, according to WebMD.

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