Deadly fungus (Candida auris (C. auris)) detected in Florida and 28 other states, and potentially presents a ‘serious global public health threat’: CDC; The CDC warns that C. auris can enter the
by Paul Alexander
bloodstream & cause serious infections, particularly affecting individuals who have recently stayed in nursing homes using medical devices e.g. breathing tubes, feeding tubes, central venous catheters
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring a newly emerged fungus that poses a significant global health concern. This particular fungus, known as Candida auris (C. auris), has been responsible for severe illness or even death in hospitalized patients, and healthcare facilities in 29 states, including Florida, have reported cases.
Among the states, Nevada has reported the highest number of cases at 384, followed by California with 359 cases, and Florida with the third most cases at 349.
The CDC warns that C. auris can enter the bloodstream and cause serious invasive infections, particularly affecting individuals who have recently stayed in nursing homes and have medical devices like breathing tubes, feeding tubes, and central venous catheters in place. Unfortunately, this type of yeast does not respond well to commonly used antifungal drugs, making treatment challenging.
Infections caused by any Candida species can be life-threatening, and the available information suggests that over 30% of patients with C. auris infections have died. However, it’s important to note that many of these patients had other serious illnesses that contributed to their increased risk of death.
In response to the threat, the CDC is alerting healthcare facilities to remain vigilant and watch out for any signs of C. auris infection.
According to Meghan Marie Lyman, a medical epidemiologist for the mycotic diseases branch at the CDC, during the initial spread of Candida auris, cases were linked to individuals who had traveled to the U.S. from other countries. However, the situation has evolved, and currently, most cases are acquired locally, primarily spreading among patients in healthcare settings.
Last year, the U.S. reported a total of 2,377 confirmed clinical cases, marking a staggering increase of more than 1,200% since 2017. This alarming trend is not limited to the U.S. alone; Candida auris has become a global problem. In Europe, a survey conducted last year revealed that case numbers nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021.’