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The disgusting bacteria lurking on the bottom of your shoes
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The easiest way to stop germs from getting in your house is to leave your shoes at the door. A new study found 40 percent of shoe soles contain the bacteria C. difficile. - photo by Tracie Knabe Snowder
The easiest way to stop germs from getting in your house is to leave your shoes at the door. A new study found 40 percent of shoe soles contain the bacteria C. difficile.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was conducted by researchers from the University of Houston. They looked at samples from 30 houses in Houston and found C. diff on 40 percent of shoe soles and 33 percent of bathrooms and toilets.

Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that causes colon inflammation. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Its resistant to antibiotics, and people can end up in the hospital for months if they get recurrent infections. It costs at least $1 billion to treat C. diff every year in the United States.

Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center say a major risk factor to getting a C. diff infection is indiscriminate antibiotic use, which they say kills the good gut bacteria, leaving the gut vulnerable to bad bacteria.

Hospital patients and elderly people are most likely to contract C. diff, but now we know it can lurk on our shoes, most likely thanks to animal excrement. Study author M. Jahangir Alam told Mens Health the best way to stop tracking C. diff around your house is to take your shoes off at the door.

To further prevent the spread of C. diff, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to only take antibiotics prescribed by a doctor and to clean your hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.