Superbug Candida Auris Becomes Severe Global Health Threat

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There’s a superbug that’s considered a global health threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More precisely, they consider it “a serious global health threat,’’ and this superbug has been increasing in the U.S. and abroad in recent years.

There have reportedly been 617 confirmed cases domestically, and more than 20 other countries are reporting multiple instances.

The superbug can cause fatal infections

This superbug is a fungus called Candida auris (C. auris), and it usually preys on hospital or nursing home patients.

It can cause potentially fatal infections that are not responding to the usual treatment.

The superbug began occurring in the US in 2015. This is also really difficult to diagnose, and it requires specialized laboratory work. In order to prevent it from spreading, there’s a need for prompt action.

Most strains have proven to be resistant to at least one anti-fungal drug. This bug usually preys on patients who are already suffering from a serious medical condition and have a weak immune system.

These patients are primarily the ones who need intrusive treatment with a tube going inside their bodies.

USA Today reports that healthy people usually don’t get infected, but it’s recommended that they wash their hands with soap and water if they come in contact with an infected individual.

The online publication also notes something extremely disturbing: “The CDC says 30-60% of the people who have contracted C. auris infections have died, but it also points out many of them were at increased risk because of serious illnesses.”

Symptoms and treatment 

The most common symptoms include fever and chills that will not respond to treatment with antibiotics. This often causes infection in the bloodstream, in a wound or in the ears.

“Conventional laboratory techniques could lead to misidentification and inappropriate management,’’ the CDC says, “making it difficult to control the spread of C. auris in healthcare settings.’’

Regarding the treatment, the CDC said the majority of C. auris infections respond to treatment with a class of antifungal medications – echinocandins.