‘Superbug' cases confirmed in Maryland, Virginia

Maricruz Casares
Abril 14, 2019

Today, the CDC classifies is as a "serious threat" as case studies have shown that it can kill a person within 90 days from infection.

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.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been 587 confirmed cases of Candida auris over the past few years in 12 reporting states with the majority found in the New York City area, New Jersey and Chicago. As of March 29, at least 617 cases of clinical C. auris have been reported in the USA with more than 1,000 patients found to be carrying the fungus.

To make matters worse, C. auris is commonly resistant to one, if not all, of the antifungal medications that are available, making the infection highly hard to treat. "Fungal infections caused by C. auris, and similar infections, have the potential to cause serious illness, are often resistant to standard medications, and continue to spread in health care settings".

Why is Candida Auris Deadly?

Well, it's a type of yeast that can enter a person's bloodstream. Public health officials are conducting surveillance for clinical cases and also screening individuals (swabbing the skin of patients and residents) in health care facilities where clinical cases have been found. However, most C. auris isolates in IL have been treatable with all antifungals.

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IDPH and local health departments are working with health care facilities to implement and maintain infection control practices to reduce transmission (cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces and shared equipment, hand hygiene, gloves, gowns, etc.). People can also have C. auris on their body without developing an infection or any symptoms.

At least 56,000 people in the U.S. and European Union die every year as a direct effect of infection from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, comparable to influenza, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS combined.

In an interview with The New York Times, fungal branch head Tom Chiller referred to C. auris as the "creature from the black lagoon" because nobody knows where it came from and it continues to spread globally.

"C. auris is more likely to affect patients who have weakened immune systems from conditions such as blood cancers or diabetes, receive lots of antibiotics, or have devices like tubes going into their body (for example, breathing tubes, feeding tubes, catheters in a vein, or bladder catheters)", the agency said.

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