Deadly drug-resistant fungus has spread across the U.S. Here’s what you need to know about Candida auris!– OnMyWay Mobile App User News

A drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus has been spreading rapidly through U.S. health care facilities, a new government study finds.

The fungus, a type of yeast called Candida auris, or C. auris, can cause severe illness in people with weakened immune systems. The number of people diagnosed with infections — as well as the number of those who were found through screening to be carrying C. auris — has been rising at an alarming rate since it was first reported in the U.S., researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.

The increases, “especially in the most recent years, are really concerning to us,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Meghan Lyman, chief medical officer in the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, said in an interview. “We’ve seen increases not just in areas of ongoing transmission, but also in new areas.”

As America’s doctors threw everything they had at stopping COVID, Candida auris began to spike quietly.

“I am concerned about it,” said Dr. Mary Hayden, director of infectious diseases at Rush University Medical Center. “I am concerned that it got worse during the pandemic.”

Cases of the Candida auris are now climbing at an “alarming” rate in health care facilities around the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Monday, after reports of infected patients nearly doubled in 2021.

For several years after the first American cases were reported in 2016, only a few dozen Candida auris patients were reported to the CDC annually. But cases have begun to accelerate in recent years, according to the new CDC data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

What is Candida auris, or C. auris?
Candida auris is a drug-resistant fungus that can cause outbreaks in health care facilities, according to the CDC.
The fungus can infect the bloodstream and even cause death by invading the blood, heart and brain, the agency said. More than 1 in 3 patients die from such an infection.

Experts say the pathogen is also dangerous because it’s often resistant to antifungal medicines commonly used to treat infections. It’s also difficult to identify without specialized laboratory technology and is often mistaken for other infections.

How does it spread?
Candida auris was first identified in Japan in 2009.

Since then, it has been found in many countries and caused prolonged outbreaks in several nations including Pakistan, Venezuela, Spain, Israel, South Africa and the United States.

The disease can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or equipment, especially in healthcare settings, but it can also spread between people.

Health officials say more research is needed to understand how the fungus spreads.

However, infections have mostly occurred in hospital patients who had already been hospitalized for other reasons.


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