Deadly, Drug Resistant Fungus Could Be Next Global Threat


"We are constantly looking out for any new infectious diseases".

Eleven isolated cases of Candida auris infections in public hospitals here have been reported to the Ministry of Health (MOH) since 2012.

The move is meant to protect centers and states from panic and media attention, but experts warn it is leaving the general public in the dark about a serious threat.

According to the CDC, symptoms of the fungus may be hard to detect because patients are often already sick and only a lab test can identify the superbug.

The CDC has an ongoing case count, but only identifies cases in each state.

Meanwhile, Chicago has confirmed 154 cases of the disease between May 24, 2016, and April 4, 2019, which is an increase of 10 cases from the CDC website that was last updated at the end of February. But with drug-resistant fungi and bacteria, their genes evolve so quickly that the treatment meant to target them proves ineffective and allows the risky disease to spread.

'In Illinois, three cases were associated with the same long-term care facility, ' the researchers wrote in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. NY has had 309 confirmed cases, New Jersey has had 104 and IL had had 144.

'The case in MA was linked to the IL cases'.

But what exactly is Candida Auris and what are the common signs and symptoms?

"NHS hospitals that have experienced outbreaks of Candida auris have not found it to be the cause of death in any patients". A delay in a diagnosis can lead to a spread within hospitals. The fungus can cause different types of infection, including wound infection, bloodstream infection, and ear infection.

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The rise of C. auris has been kept confidential by hospitals and even governments, partly because it is so new, and also because of the fear of being seen as infection hubs.

It was first identified in Japan in 2009 and has since spread to more than a dozen countries worldwide.

Part of the reason for the fungus' tenacity is because it is impervious to drug treatments. "The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive".

In May previous year, researchers from Imperial College London warned of a potential "global collapse" in ability to control and fight fungal infections as drug-resistant strains grow and spread.

The Centers for Disease Control said it "identified 51 clinical case-patients and 61 screening case-patients" in NY alone. However, tests showed that the invasive fungus was everywhere inside the room, from the bed to the doors and walls to everything else inside, according to Gulf News.

Elderly sick patients and ill infants tend to be the most vulnerable to the germs.

United States clinicians have been warned to watch for the fungus in hospitals.

According to the CDC, the greatest risk is to those who have recently had surgery, live in nursing homes, or who have breathing tubes, feeding tubes, or central venous catheters.

"As a society, we are using too many antibiotics and we are getting all these bacteria and fungi that are becoming resistant", he said.