A deadly drug resistant fungus threatens the world

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The CDC is alerting USA healthcare facilities to be on the lookout for C. auris in their patients.

The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not.

Since then, 587 cases of Candida auris have been reported in the United States, the centre said, citing the CDC.

India, Pakistan, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Kenya and list goes on with at least 587 cases reported from US alone, 309 cases in NY, 104 in New Jersey and 144 in IL, according to the CDC.

If you flipped through the New York Times over the weekend, you may still be feeling unnerved by a worrisome story about Candida auris, a mysterious fungus that poses a threat to people with weakened immune systems and has been rearing its risky head in hospitals around the globe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says U.S. C. auris cases are a result of inadvertent introduction into the country from a patient who had recently received healthcare in a country where C. auris has been reported or a result of local spread after such an introduction. The largest number of cases have been reported in NY with 309 of 587 US cases as of February 28, 2019. Candida auris can cause different types of infections, including bloodstream infection, wound infection, and ear infection.

The elderly man, who was not named by the Times, was isolated in the intensive care unit, but died 90 days later. Outbreaks have also been reported at a Venezuelan neonatal unit and British medical center. Combined, New York and New Jersey account for more than 70% of US cases.

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There has been little coverage on this global outbreak, mostly because many hospitals and governments are reluctant to disclose such outbreaks for fear of being seen as infection hubs, The New York Times reported.

The CDC first issued an alert about drug-resistant C. auris in 2016 and today describes it as a "serious threat."

Prof Tambyah said: "Efforts are being taken by agencies such as the US CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) and the UK's Health Protection Agency and many other worldwide and local professional bodies, including those in Singapore, to detect these infections and make sure they do not spread to vulnerable patients".

A risky, emerging fungus that is resistant to antifungal drugs is becoming an increasing health concern around the world.

In regards to finding a way to treat antimicrobial-resistant infections, Nett said research groups are designing new strategies to fight invasive fungal infections, "including novel antifungals and vaccines".

Another outbreak occurred at a hospital in Spain in 2018. "It is also critical that healthcare systems are optimized to prevent the spread of Candida auris".