A deadly drug resistant fungus threatens the world

Desiree Burns
April 9, 2019

The most worrying characteristic about Candida auris is its resistance to major antifungal drugs, which are typically used to treat such infections.

"We don't know what to look out for", he told TNP, and added that this makes infection control more hard.

In a recent feature on the spread of the fungus, the New York Times reported that some of the symptoms of C. auris include fever and chills.

If you flipped through the New York Times over the weekend, you may still be feeling unnerved by a worrisome story about Candida auris, a mysterious fungus that poses a threat to people with weakened immune systems and has been rearing its risky head in hospitals around the globe.

[Image: courtesy of CDC] Globally, more than two dozen countries have reported either single or multiple cases of Candida auris, affecting every continent accept Antarctica.

India, Pakistan, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Kenya and list goes on with at least 587 cases reported from US alone, 309 cases in NY, 104 in New Jersey and 144 in IL, according to the CDC.

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Until researchers are able to pinpoint the cause of these drug-resistant diseases, the CDC is urging people to use soap and hand sanitizer before and after touching any patients, and reporting cases to public health departments right away. The journal Mycoses reported that 41 of the patients who were infected died within 30 days.

According to a report published by Annals Academy of Medicine Singapore in July 2018, the first case of Candida auris was detected in Singapore in 2012 and involved a 52-year-old locally-born Chinese woman. "This is a huge problem", said Professor Matthew Fisher, an expert on fungal epidemiology at Imperial College London, who recently published a study on resistant outbreaks of fungi. According to the authors, the patient was discharged four months later with her "wounds healing well".

In both cases, the infections seemed to be imported from overseas as there were no reports of a Candida auris outbreak from Singapore, the report said. IL had 144 confirmed cases and New Jersey had 104. In fact, candida auris outbreaks have been reported in hospitals and healthcare centres around the world.

A powerful superbug is spreading in hospitals all around the world and it's emerging as a serious global health threat.

The New York Times report explains that even though cases have been detected since 2009, some hospitals have made an intentional effort not to publicize the information to the public. "As special precautions are needed to prevent the spread of this pathogen, prompt identification is essential".

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