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Deadly, Drug-Resistant Fungus Arrives in US: Fast Facts About Candida Auris

Nov 10, 2016 04:20 AM EST
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A fatal fungus that is not responding to any known drugs has arrived in the US territory.

As per Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the superbug called Candida Auris has already affected 13 people in the United States --- four of them has died. C. auris is a serious fungal infection that is emerging globally and it tends to materialize in hospitals.

"It appears that C. auris arrived in the United States only in the past few years," said Tom Chiller, M.D., M.P.H., chief of CDC's Mycotic Diseases Branch. "We're working hard with partners to better understand this fungus and how it spreads so we can improve infection control recommendations and help protect people."

Based on their recent report, cases of C. Auris occurred in Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. Below are some facts you need to know about the deadly fungus.

According to Medical Daily, C. auris, is the cousin of Candida albicans. C. auris was first identified in 2009, when it was seen in the ear discharge of a patient in Japan. The strain has been identified in nine other countries --- South Korea, India, South Africa, Kuwait, Colombia, Venezuela, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom and United States.

Officials have reported that C. auris is mainly being spread across hospitals and nursing homes, where patients risk infection from contact with contaminated surfaces and equipment such as catheter.

C.auris can typically be found in the urinary and respiratory tract, making those who are infected at risk of blood infections. A study published in NCBI said bloodstream infections from C. auris have a 50% fatality rate in some countries.

According to National Geographic, the fungus C. auris is behaving unusually. Unlike other candida infections, C. auris is resistant to the antifungal drugs that doctors usually use to treat candida infections.

Other yeasts that cause vaginal infection and athlete's foot do not usually cause very serious infections. C. auris on the other hand causes wound and bloodstream infections in people who are already hospitalized and ill.

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