The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning about a sharp increase in cases of a deadly fungal infection in the United States. Candida auris, a multidrug-resistant yeast, is responsible for the outbreak, which has now been reported in multiple states across the country.
According to the CDC, there have been more than 800 cases of Candida auris reported in the United States since 2016, with most cases concentrated in New York, Illinois, and New Jersey. The fungal infection has been associated with high mortality rates, with some reports suggesting that up to 60% of infected patients may die.
More about the deadly fungus
Candida auris is a highly infectious fungus that can cause severe illness in humans, particularly those with weakened immune systems. The fungus is resistant to most antifungal medications, making it difficult to treat. It can survive for long periods on surfaces and is easily spread between patients in healthcare settings.
Health officials have expressed concern about the recent spike in Candida auris cases and are urging hospitals and healthcare facilities to take precautions to prevent the further spread of the infection. The CDC has issued guidelines for infection control in healthcare settings, including recommendations for the use of personal protective equipment and enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures.
In addition to healthcare facilities, the CDC is also urging the general public to take precautions to protect themselves from Candida auris. This includes practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly with soap and water and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
The rise in Candida auris cases in the United States is part of a larger global trend. The fungus was first identified in Japan in 2009 and has since spread to more than 30 countries worldwide. Experts believe that the global increase in Candida auris cases is due in part to the overuse of antifungal medications, which has led to the development of drug-resistant strains of the fungus.
What are the actions taken by CDC?
The CDC is working closely with state and local health departments to monitor the outbreak and develop strategies to contain its spread. This includes conducting surveillance to identify new cases, providing guidance to healthcare facilities, and working with international partners to share information and coordinate response efforts.
Despite the seriousness of the outbreak, the CDC is urging Americans not to panic. While Candida auris is a serious infection, it is still relatively rare, and the risk of infection can be minimized through good hygiene and infection control practices.
In the meantime, the CDC is urging anyone who develops symptoms of a Candida auris infection to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms can include fever, chills, and persistent infections that do not respond to treatment with standard antifungal medications.
The recent spike in Candida auris cases in the United States is a reminder of the importance of infection control measures in healthcare settings and the need for continued vigilance in the fight against infectious diseases. By working together, healthcare providers and the general public can help to contain the spread of Candida auris and protect the health of our communities.