Over 400 cases of drug-resistant superbug in NY, NJ

Randy Kelley
April 10, 2019

According to the CDC Most of the confirmed C. Auris cases in the US have been discovered in NY and New Jersey. More than 700 cases, mostly in Illinois, New Jersey, and NY, have been reported.

- Federal health authorities are warning about an emerging fungu that presents a serious global health threat and is showing up in NY and New Jersey.

Infections like C. auris have been able to thrive due to the overuse of antibiotics, the Times reported.

Given the speed at which the inspection spreads, coupled with its resistance to medication, "the prospect of an endemic or epidemic multidrug-resistant yeast in USA healthcare facilities is troubling", the CDC said in October.

The fungus "candida auris" hit several countries around the world over the last five years and was recently found in New York, New Jersey and IL. Cases in the United States are a result of inadvertent introduction from a patient who recently was treated in a country where C. auris has been reported.

In 2009, doctors first found candida auris in the ear discharge of a patient in Japan.

"Most strains of C. auris are resistant to at least one antifungal drug, one-third are resistant to two antifungal drug classes, and some strains are resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drugs".

The germ is a fungus called Candida Auris and preys on people with weakened immune systems. Growing numbers of cases have been reported in Florida, California, and a handful of other states.

Candida auris (C auris) is a harmful form of yeast, identified by the CDC as a "superbug" fungus.

The infection resolved in only 27.5% cases while 45% patients who contracted fungal infection died in 30 days. Unfortunately, Candida auris falls in the latter category.

Chakrabarti adds that C.auris was increasingly catching the attention of healthcare providers because it resides largely in hospital ICUs and spreads fast.

What also makes the fungus so unsafe is that its hard to recognize and is often misidentified as other related yeasts - many might not determine that they actually have a serious infection on hand.

In regards to finding a way to treat antimicrobial-resistant infections, Nett said research groups are designing new strategies to fight invasive fungal infections, "including novel antifungals and vaccines".

Candida auris can be challenging to identify because the symptoms are so similar to the flu or common cold that testing for the fungus is often overlooked.

Dr. Louie said the fungus is not a threat to public health that's comparable to the ebola virus - which killed previously healthy people - but he urged people to be vigilant.

Royal Brompton Hospital alerted the British government and infected patients when the fungus could not be removed, but made no public announcement to warn the public about the outbreak, The New York Times said.

"It will be important to understand how these technologies can be applied to the control of Candida auris", she said.

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