1 case of so called ‘Superbug’ reported in CT

Candida Auris Mysterious and dangerous fungal infection

A powerful superbug is spreading in hospitals all around the world and it's emerging as a serious global health threat.

The fungus, called Candida auris, is a yeast that normally lives harmlessly on the skin and mucous membranes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC also reported that the median age for the clinical case-patients was 72, but that the ages of those infected ranged from 21 to 96 years.

What makes the fungus so unsafe is that it is resistant to major antifungal drugs that are typically used to treat infections.

Typically, candida auris affects people with weakened immune systems who are in the hospital or have severe illnesses, according to the CDC.

Nicole Kirgan, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Health, said she didn't know whether any of the state's cases have been fatal, and couldn't say which hospitals are treating people with the fungus because they have not, so far, been required to report their cases to state officials. It spread easily, killed rapidly and preyed upon each healthcare facility's weakest patients.

The fungus, which can be hard to detect, was discovered in 2009 in Japan.

Map showing the prevalence of Candida auris spread worldwide. Researchers are troubled that the germ suddenly appeared and then quickly traveled around the world.




Healthcare institutions here have measures in place to prevent and control healthcare-related infections, including C. auris, and are required to report any outbreaks, but no outbreak was reported, the spokesman said.

Symptoms of C. auris infection depend on the part of the body affected.

"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". However, he adds, "While I see C.auris about once a month, I have seen people dying of multi-drug resistant bacteria daily". Candida Auris, is one of dozens of unsafe bacteria and fungi that have developed a resistance to drugs. The disease was named auris, a Latin reference to the ear, after the first identified case, which was an ear infection. One theory is that the use of crop fungicides has created a pathogen that's evolved and learned how to outwit its killer.

The fungus spreads through moist surfaces, hospital linen, blankets, temperature probes etc, he says, recalling an instance when a ventilator had to be destroyed because it could not be properly disinfected.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in April 2018 that it had approved the first rapid test for C. Auris, with results in under an hour compared to traditional testing which took 24-48 hours.

But hospitals are not obliged to inform patients if they have the infection, which is most commonly contracted in hospitals, according to an alarming new feature by the New York Times.

As of February 2019, there are 587 confirmed cases of candida auris in the United States alone.

According to the CDC Most of the confirmed C. Auris cases in the US have been discovered in NY and New Jersey. There are also 104 recorded cases in New Jersey.

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