Clostridium difficile (also known as C. difficile or C. diff.) is a bacteria that causes diarrhea and other health issues. It is linked to 14,000 deaths annually, and what is more alarming, mortalities have jumped 400 percent between 2000 and 2007, in part due to a stronger germ strain. During the year 1999-2000, 3,000 deaths occurred; the number of deaths skyrocketed to 14,000 in the year 2006-2007. While other health care-associated infections, such as bloodstream infections, are declining, C. difficile infections (CDIs) have reached historic highs. Hospital stays related to CDIs are at 337,000 annually, adding at least $1 billion in extra costs to the health care system, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).