While recovering from surgery or taking strong antibiotics, your risk of developing C-DIFF increases as close to half a million people every year develop a C-DIFF infection.

"Clostridium difficile is a bacteria that causes, sometimes, a really severe infection in your intestines, and people actually die from it or have serious complications from it." explains Dr. Michael Swor of the Swor Women’s Care clinic.

He says patients in hospitals and nursing home residents are more at risk because it’s transmitted by means of hands to mouth, from surfaces or other people.

Physician care clinical research is one of 200 institutions participating in the final stages of a clinical trial for a C-diff vaccine.

"This vaccine reduced the chance of C-diff if it's in your body to cause disease and if you get the disease, it makes the infection less severe. It doesn't prevent you from getting C-diff in your body. It prevents it from becoming a serious illness," says Dr. Swor.

Right now, they're looking for patients aged 50 and older to participate in the trial.

"You have to be free of having ever had C-diff, you have to have been in the hospital because that's the stress factor that they're looking for. And you have to have been on antibiotic treatment," says Dr. Swor.

Nearly half a million cases of C-Diff are diagnosed in the United States every year, requiring the use of antibiotics to treat the infections.

That rate of infection is steadily increasing, making the need for a vaccine a much-needed priority.

To participate locally, you can contact: Frandsen Family Medicine, DBA Sound Medical Research in Port Orchard, WA, or Multicare Health System in Tacoma, as well as Wenatchee Valley Hospital & Clinics, Wenatchee, WA, United States, 98801.