A new government study finds that a drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus has been spreading rapidly through U.S. healthcare facilities. The fungus, called Candida auris or C. auris, causes severe ailments in people with weakened immunity.
The CDC report, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, warns about the fungus after witnessing its growing outbreak in Mississippi.
Tammy Yates, the Mississippi State Department of Health spokesperson, said, "Unfortunately, multi-drug resistant organisms like C. auris are becoming prevalent among our highest-risk individuals, such as those in long-term care facilities."
Further, Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, "The infection is spreading at an alarming rate; the number of people diagnosed with infections as well as those believed to be carrying it are rising since it was first reported in the U.S."
Dr. Meghan Lyman, the CDC's Mycotic Diseases Branch chief medical officer and the study's lead author, said, "This increase, especially in the most recent years, is really concerning. The infection is spreading not only in areas of ongoing transmission but also in new areas."
The study claims that C. auris has now been detected in >50% of U.S. states. CDC explains that the fungus can be found on the skin and throughout the body. It's not a threat to healthy people, but about 33% of people who become sick with C. auris die.
This paper aims to put C. auris on healthcare providers' radar and prompt facilities to practice "good infection control."
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