Deadly, drug-resistant fungus spreading through hospitals — CDC

Wednesday, 10 Apr, 2019

What makes the fungus so risky is that it is resistant to major antifungal drugs that are typically used to treat infections.

A total of 587 cases have been reported in the USA since February 28, with 12 cases having been reported in Florida. However, if you are admitted in a hospital, you can ask if there have been cases of C. auris there. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a fungus called Candida Auris, which has recently been found to be particularly lethal. Its name is derived from "auris", the Latin word for ear.

To the surprise of scientists there are four distinct strains of the fungus in the world which appear to have evolved independently.

The ministry added that the risk of C. auris infection to a healthy individual is very low. It spread easily, killed rapidly and preyed upon each healthcare facility's weakest patients.

The infection resolved in only 27.5% cases while 45% patients who contracted fungal infection died in 30 days.

Candida auris targets people with weakened immune systems.

The New York Times also cited a case that took place in 2015, where Dr Johanna Rhodes, an infectious disease expert, was told by the Royal Brompton Hospital in Britain that Candida auris had taken root there a few months earlier. They recommend washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizers in health care facilities. Some of the ceiling and floor tiles had to be ripped out.

While C. auris is resistant to some antifungal drugs, it is susceptible to others that can be used to treat it. "More drug resistant pathogens may emerge if we remain non-serious towards preventing misuse of antibiotics and antifungals", warned Dr Sumit Ray, who heads the critical care division at Artemis Hospital in Gurgaon. Because drug development is a lengthy process, most health officials are concentrating on trying to keep the fungus in check.

How are Candida auris infections diagnosed? Only a lab test can identify the superbug.

5. New York Currently Has the highest number of Cases in the U.S.

Drug-resistant infections, known as superbugs, have come into the spotlight this week after a report in the New York Times chronicled the escalation of a drug-resistant fungus called Candida auris around the world, and how hospitals have managed to keep it quiet - until now.

NY has seen more than 300 cases, while there have been 144 cases in IL, most in Chicago.

The state's number of cases - now the third-highest after NY and IL - has risen in tandem with an increase, first overseas, and now in the United States, in a trend that some doctors attribute to the overuse of drugs to treat infections, prompting the mutation of infection sources, in this case, a fungus. "These protocols include site reviews to assess infection control compliance", testing environmental samples and requiring clinical staff to participate in advanced infection control educational programs.