Half of US States Now Contaminated with New Deadly Superfungus
The world has witnessed the emergence of several deadly infections caused by drug-resistant pathogens . One of the newest threats is a deadly super fungus called Candida auris, which has been spreading rapidly across the globe.
According to recent reports, the deadly fungus has contaminated half of the US states. Candida auris—a fungal infection highly resistant to numerous drugs—has rapidly spread across hospitals and nursing homes in the United States since its identification in 2016.
The fungus has now reached 25 of the 50 states. A recent report even suggests that infections have tripled from 2019 to 2021. This spread is an alarming development, given that Candida auris is one of the most challenging fungal infections to treat.
What You Need to Know About This Deadly New Superfungus
Candida auris is a type of yeast first identified in Japan in 2009. Since then, it has rapidly spread to over 30 countries, including the United States.
The fungus is dangerous since it is resistant to multiple antifungal medications, making it challenging to treat. Moreover, it can survive for weeks on surfaces, spreading quickly in healthcare settings.
'Candida Auris': A deadly, untreatable super fungus grips more than half of #US states https://t.co/IvyFE8UwtS
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 30, 2023
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first issued a warning about C. auris in 2016. Since that time, the number of cases has continued to rise.
According to the latest CDC study, there are over 2,000 confirmed cases of C. auris in the United States, with more than 300 cases reported in the last year alone. The CDC has also reported that nearly half of the US states have confirmed cases of the fatal fungus.
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Candida auris is distinct from other fungal species that can cause infections, such as Candida albicans, which is responsible for thrush.
Characteristics of the Deadly Superfungus
One unique aspect of Candida auris is that it can colonize human skin, unlike many other Candida species that thrive in the gut as part of the microbiome.
As a result, individuals colonized with Candida auris can shed large quantities of yeast from their skin, contaminating bed linens and surfaces and leading to outbreaks.
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Moreover, it is uncommon for a fungal infection to spread from person to person, but Candida auris is an exception to this rule.
Outbreaks of this fungus can occur, particularly in intensive care units (ICUs) and nursing homes, where people are generally more susceptible to fungal infections.
The fatality rate of infected individuals (not colonized) by the fungus ranges from 30% to 60%. However, determining an exact mortality rate can be challenging since infected patients often suffer from other serious illnesses.
Detecting an infection can pose a challenge since various symptoms, such as fever, chills, headaches, and nausea, may manifest. Hence, it is crucial to closely monitor Candida auris since it can be mistaken for other illnesses.
One of the most concerning aspects of C. auris is that it primarily affects people who are already critically ill or have weakened immune systems. The fungus can cause bloodstream infections, wound infections, and ear infections.
The CDC recommends that healthcare facilities take aggressive measures to inhibit the spread of C. auris, including implementing strict infection control measures and using specialized cleaning agents to disinfect surfaces.