CDC Warns of ‘Potentially Deadly’ Candida Auris Fungus Spreading Through U.S.
On Monday, the CDC released a warning to U.S. healthcare facilities of a new threat concerning the drug-resistant fungus Candida auris.
HBO's post-apocalyptic drama hit drama television series "The Last of Us" takes place in 2023, two decades into a global pandemic caused by a mass fungal infection.
Now, the CDC is warning the public of a potentially deadly Candida auris fungus quickly spreading through the United States.
Who had this on their 2023 bingo card?
According to the CDC, the fungus is resistant to most fungal medications.
From NPR.com -
"About 30% to 60% of infected people have died from the yeast.
It can cause serious illness and death in people who are already sick, use invasive medical devices, or have long or frequent stays at health care facilities."
However, the CDC says the fungus is not a threat to "healthy people".
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is labeling the C. auris fungus an urgent threat due to its resistance to anti-fungal medications.
Candida auris was first discovered in 2016 and has since been detected in 30 countries around the world.
The CDC reports that between the discovery of the fungus in 2016 and December of 2021 "there have been 3,270 clinical cases in the U.S., in which patients have been infected, and 7,413 screening cases, in which the fungus was present in patients, but was not causing infection."
The Candida auris fungus can be spread from person to person or from contaminated surfaces.
The CDC is concerned about Candida auris fungus for three reasons.
From CDC.Gov -
- It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
- It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
- It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.
The most common Candida auris symptoms seen so far are fever and chills that don't improve after being treated with medications and antibiotics.
C. auris infection can only be diagnosed with a laboratory test.