CDC: superbug fungus may have passed through US health facilities

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, a 'superbug' fungus called Candida auris may have passed through some health care facilities in the United States, marking a 'need for attention' amongst such facilities to help stop its spread. This fungus, unfortunately, is resistant to many anti-fungal medications, and was first isolated in Japan. Individuals in several countries have been infected with the fungus.

The fungus was first 'described' back in 2009. Infections have been found in individuals in several countries since then, including the UK, South Korea, India, Columbia, Venezuela, and others. In light of its fairly rapid spread through multiple countries, the CDC began alerting heath care facilities in the U.S. about the fungus this past summer.

Since doing so, the CDC has received at least seven reports of Candida auris infections in the United States. Based on this, the CDC says it is possible the fungus may have been transmitted within US health care facilities, which need to start taking precautions to keep this from happening further. In one instance, the patient appears to have been hospitalized when they contracted the fungus.

All of the infected patients are said to have had 'serious underlying medical conditions" when they contracted the fungus. Unfortunately, since then four of the seven patients have died, though the reasons why weren't stated. Five of the seven patients had infections that were resistant to the treatment fluconazole. Though it has still not been definitely stated whether the transmission occurred in US facilities, the report indicates that is a very strong possibility.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control