A rising number of cases of a potentially deadly fungus has prompted a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it is an “urgent danger”. This was in response to a recent release by the CDC regarding a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Cases have soared nearly 200%, from 476 cases in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021 — and those cases were detected in over half of U.S. states, the CDC report found.
Candida aurist, or C. Auris, is a fungus typically found in hospital settings and long-term care facilities.
It’s a type of yeast.
Experts in health say it can cause severe infections or even death in people with compromised immune systems.
According to the CDC report, the United States saw the first case in 2013. The first cases were most often found in New York City and Chicago.
Dr. Frederick Davis, associate chair of Emergency Medicine at Northwell Health on Long Island New York stated that Candida Auris has been found in hospitals.
He stated that the strain is concerning because it “recently has been found to be resistant to common antibiotics to treat infection and in some cases, have had a 30–60% mortality rate.”
“It can also enter the bloodstream through open wounds from chronically ill patients in healthcare facilities. ”
Davis wasn’t included in the CDC report.
Healthy people are usually safe from fungus. Asymptomatic colonization is also known.
He stated that the virus could enter the bloodstream from open wounds in chronically ill patients, causing a symptomatic disease.
Infections can occur on surfaces exposed to the device
He stated that catheters could also transmit candida, as they are often inserted through the skin multiple times.
It is resistant to all drugs that could possibly be used to treat it.
Most candida infections cause a reddened skin rash. Candida can also enter the bloodstream through open cuts.
Davis said symptoms could include a high heart rate or low blood pressure.
It is also resistant to the majority of drugs that could possibly be used to treat it. Experts consider this a serious concern.
Aaron Glatt M.D. Chief of Infectious Disease at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital on Long Island, New York.
He stated that candida infections can become resistant to antifungals. This means that there are very few options for treatment.
“Bugs, fungi — they adapt,” Glatt said.
Avoiding exposure can be reduced by wearing gloves and gowns.
He compared the ability to adapt the fungus to a person wearing a sweater when it gets cold.
He stated that patients who have underlying medical conditions could be at risk due to the adaptability of the fungus strain.
He stated, “This is becoming a more serious issue in very immunocompromised patients. ”
The infectious disease expert said that while this type of infection is not something people in good health should worry about, it is crucial for long-term care units to be aware of potential fungal infections.
Avoiding exposure to the sun by wearing gloves and gowns and washing your hands often can reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
According to the CDC report, authors one reason for the sudden rise in cases could be because of decreased infection control measures during pandemics. This could be due to the strain COVID-19 put on healthcare systems.
This strain led to shortages of staff and equipment, an increase in antimicrobial use, and a rise in the severity and death rates in patients.