Sound familiar?? All that R&D is paying off, . . . . .
A “mysterious and dangerous” fungal infection has emerged, and experts are warning that it is a serious global health threat.
In A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy
, The New York Times outlines the terrifying details:
The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe. Over 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.
This fungal infection is extremely difficult to kill.
Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed “urgent threats.” (source)
Last May, an elderly man became infected
with C. auris
and doctors were not able to save him.
What happened after his death is horrifying:
The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not. Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.
“Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump,” said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital’s president. “The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.” (source)
In late 2015, a similar case
occurred at Royal Brompton Hospital, a British medical center outside London. Workers there used a special device to spray aerosolized hydrogen peroxide around a room used for a patient with C. auris.
In hopes that the vapor would disinfect the room, they left the device running for a week. When they tested the room to see if any microbes survived, they found only one: C. auris
C. auris is a serious emerging public health threat.
is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of one of the world’s most dangerous health threats: the rise of drug-resistant infections.
“It’s an enormous problem,” said Matthew Fisher, a professor of fungal epidemiology at Imperial College London, who was a co-author of a recent scientific review on the rise of resistant fungi. “We depend on being able to treat those patients with antifungals.” (source)
The CDC is concerned about C. aruis
for three main reasons, according to the agency’s website
- It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
- It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
- It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.
As of March 29, 2019, 617 cases of C. auris
have been reported to the CDC