Highlights

  • Candida auris is spreading rapidly in the US
  • Experts warn infection can be hazardous due to its high fatality rate
  • Fungal infection can be found on the skin and other body sites

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'Candida Auris' infection poses serious healthcare threat in US, all you need to know

Candida auris, a dangerous fungal infection, spreads rapidly in the US, posing high fatality risk and drug resistance, warns CDC."

'Candida Auris' infection poses serious healthcare threat in US, all you need to know

A severe fungal infection 'Candida auris' is spreading rapidly in the United States. Despite being a rare disease, doctors caution that infection can still be potentially hazardous due to its high fatality rate, drug resistance, and its ability to easily spread in healthcare facilities, as per a report in NBC News.

According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), it can cause infections in different parts of the body such as in the bloodstream, open wounds, and ears.

The fungal infection can be found on the skin and other body sites without a person being sick. This is often labelled as "colonization", where a person may potentially transmit it to others without necessarily becoming ill said CDC on its website.

Three individuals who tested positive in Washington were patients at Kindred Hospital Seattle First Hill, a facility specializing in long-term acute care. Their positive cases were identified through a routine screening program designed to detect infections before symptom onset.

The CDC links the surge of Candida auris to heightened screening and inadequate infection control measures in healthcare facilities, exacerbated by staffing shortages and prolonged patient stays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The incidence of Candida auris, initially identified in Japan 15 years ago, has surged dramatically in recent years. In 2022, it affected 2,377 individuals, a stark increase from 53 cases in 2016. This rapid proliferation of the fungus across most U.S. states and 40 countries has led both the CDC and World Health Organization to designate it as an escalating menace. CDC data from 2021 recorded 1,471 cases of the fungus infection.

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