Colonies of <em>Clostridium difficile </em>look awfully nice, but they're definitely something you'd be advised to keep at a safe distance.
Infections with the bacterium Clostridium difficile hit record numbers in recent years. Now there's evidence the hard-to-treat infections are becoming a problem for children.
The infections often strike the elderly, especially those who've been taking antibiotics that clear out competing bacteria in people's intestines. People sickened by the bug have persistent diarrhea that can, in severe cases, lead to dehydration.
Dr. Paul J. Pockros, a liver specialist at Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, talks with hepatitis C patient Loretta Roberts in Jan. 2011.
Credit Lenny Ignelzi / AP
When it comes to hepatitis C, things that happened to baby boomers back in the day can make all the difference.
One in 30 baby boomers is infected with virus, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And most of them don't know it. So, the CDC is moving ahead with a proposal that all baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1965) get a blood test to check for the virus.
The current guidelines call for testing when someone has known risk factors.