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Infections With Dangerous Gut Microbe Still On The Rise
National Public Radio

A potentially life-threatening gastrointestinal infection is more common than previously estimated, federal health officials reported Wednesday.

The infection, caused by a bacterium known as Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, causes nearly 500,000 illnesses in the United States each year and kills about 29,000, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The estimate, based on an analysis of data collected at 10 geographic areas in 2011, is higher than any previous year, say CDC officials who published the data Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.