Candida auris outbreak: Superbug fungus has sickened hundreds, CDC says

Candida auris outbreak: Superbug fungus has sickened hundreds, CDC says

Candida auris outbreak: Superbug fungus has sickened hundreds, CDC says

A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious.

According to the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, it kills about half of all patients who contract it within 90 days.

Since then the fungus has spread imperceptibly throughout the world.

Candida auris targets people with weakened immune systems.

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. Outbreaks have also been reported at a Venezuelan neonatal unit and British medical center. Over the past five years, the fungus has now taken roots in India, Pakistan and South Africa. The CDC reported 45% of the clinical case-patients died within 90 days.

Early identification is critical when dealing with C. auris, although treating the fungus can be hard, as over 90 percent of C. auris infections are resistant to at least one type of drug, according to the CDC.

"Everything was positive - the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump", Dr. Scott Lorin, president of the Brooklyn branch, told the Times.

Most C. auris infections are treatable with a class of antifungal medications called echinocandins. The infection can become fatal in 30%-60% of patients. "However, many of these people had other serious illnesses that also increased their risk of death", the CDC said. Such over-prescribing has reduced the effectiveness of the drugs, allowing once curable bacterial infections to thrive once again.

A unsafe, emerging fungus that is resistant to antifungal drugs is becoming an increasing health concern around the world. Now, fungal infections are becoming resistant. "We depend on being able to treat those patients with antifungals".

In fact, fungi - just like bacteria - are developing defenses resistant to modern drugs. Candida Auris, is one of dozens of unsafe bacteria and fungi that have developed a resistance to drugs. However, the level of threat to the general public is still unknown.

Dr. Lynn Sosa, an expert on epidemiology, said she sees Candida Auris as the most serious and significant threat among drug-resistant infections: "It's invincible and hard to diagnose", said Dr. Sosa, who says almost half of patients who die, may die within 90 days.

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