CDC: 600 cases of a deadly drug-resistant fungus reported

Health insurance The patient was treated at the hospital with the health of the insured

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the fungus, Candida auris, has already sickened hundreds of people in the United States.

"In the last five years, it has hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept through a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center to shut down its intensive care unit, and taken root in India, Pakistan and South Africa, " write Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times. "The reasons for the preponderance of cases in NY are unknown; possibilities include a true higher prevalence from multiple introductions into this global port of entry, more complete detection from aggressive case finding, presence of a large interconnected network of healthcare facilities in NYC, or a combination of all 3 factors", the scientists added.

Eleven isolated cases of Candida auris infections in public hospitals here have been reported to the Ministry of Health (MOH) since 2012.

Dr Colin Brown, Consultant Medical Microbiologist for Public Health England's national infection service, said, "Candida auris is an uncommon fungus in the United Kingdom and our enhanced surveillance shows a low risk to patients in healthcare settings". "As special precautions are needed to prevent the spread of this pathogen, prompt identification is essential".

It's also hard to identify, and can only be diagnosed by specialized laboratories using specific testing methods.

"This large, citywide, multiple-institution outbreak of C. Auris infections is ongoing". In hospitals, they spread quickly because they can colonize in the hands of health workers, equipment and surroundings. "In some outbreaks, reported mortality has approached 60 percent".

Candida auris, which preys on people with weakened immune systems, was first identified in 2009 and first seen in this country in 2013. "However, once diagnosed, it's not the toughest microbe we fight against", said Apollo Hospitals infectious diseases expert Dr V Ramasubramaniam.

A new study on Candida Auris, conducted on "572 persons not known to be infected and who resided in or were admitted to 19 facilities (9 hospitals; 10 LTCFs, of which 7 were VSNFs), 4 healthcare workers, and 4 family members of 1 clinical case-patient", described the intensity of the threat. "It hadn't impacted our surgical outcomes".

"People have various types of fungus in their body and also in surroundings". Nett said that the CDC does not necessarily have to release more information than that.

Scientists say that unless more effective new medicines are developed and unnecessary use of antimicrobial drugs is sharply curbed, risk will spread to healthier populations.

How is Candida auris spread? It doesn't kill the bats but it spills over into humans and causes an infection.

"The sicker you are, the more of a problem you have with your immune system, the more procedures you have done, then you will be much more prone to get Candida auris", Dr. Louie said.

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