Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a bacterium that leads to inflammation and illness. People who spend large amounts of time in hospitals are at a high risk for the infection. C. diff spreads via spores, which are tiny microorganisms passed from surface to surface. When people do not wash their hands regularly and sufficiently, the germs spread to other surfaces, putting more and more people at risk. Without proper disinfection protocols, these germs can survive for days, weeks, or even up to five months on contaminated, inanimate objects. C. diff can stay dormant in some individuals but can cause an array of symptoms and major complications for others. To test for the bacterium, doctors require a stool sample. Antibiotics kill both bad and good bacteria in the gut, so when you take too many antibiotics (don't self-prescribe them!), healthy bacteria cannot prevent or fight against C. diff infection. This causes the infection to quickly become a major health risk.