Officials urge precautions against drug-resistant fungus

More than 580 cases of the deadly superbug fungus Candida auris has been reported in 12 states

CDC More than 580 cases of the deadly superbug fungus Candida auris has been reported in 12 states

Candida auris first popped up on the CDC's global radar in 2016, and it wasn't long before the first cases of infection were reported in the U.S. According to the CDC's latest figures, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has risen to 617, with the majority of them clustered in New York City, New Jersey and Chicago. As C. auris is showing us, fungal infections may soon contribute to that growing number. AS of this writing, the origins of Candida auris remain unknown and the CDC and other health agencies continue to find more potent ways to control it.

The CDC says there have been three confirmed cases of C. auris, which is commonly known as a drug resistant "superbug", in Maryland and one case in Virginia. Now cases of it have been found in over 30 countries and here in the United States we've had 587 diagnoses. People having weaker immune systems are more prone to Candida Auris.

Infection of the disease is usually diagnosed by blood cultures, but it is harder to identify as it can be confused with other types of yeasts and requires special laboratory tests.

"If we don't change the way we clean rooms, then the Candida could potentially infect the next person that enters the room", infectious disease expert Dr. Todd Ellerin told ABC New York station WABC.

Question: Can anyone get this fungus and how is it spread? Public health officials are conducting surveillance for clinical cases and also screening individuals (swabbing the skin of patients and residents) in health care facilities where clinical cases have been found.

IDPH and local health departments are working with health care facilities to implement and maintain infection control practices to reduce transmission (cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces and shared equipment, hand hygiene, gloves, gowns, etc.).

Candida auris has caused many outbreaks in healthcare settings. People can also have C. auris on their body without developing an infection or any symptoms. Due to the untreatable nature of this fungal infection, they ultimately lead to the death of people affected by it. You may not be sick with it or have an infection, but you could be spreading it around unknowingly. But there are risk factors to be aware of, which include recent surgery, antifungal and broad-spectrum antibiotic use, and diabetes. Those people who are in hospitals or are suffering from any kind of illness already have more chances of experiencing this infection.

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