Deadly, Drug Resistant Fungus Could Be Next Global Threat

Candida Auris Mysterious and dangerous fungal infection

Candida Auris Mysterious and dangerous fungal infection

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

At least three people in Singapore were found to be infected with Candida auris, a deadly drug-resistant fungus that has been spreading worldwide.

A drug-resistant superbug fungus has sickened more than 300 patients in New York State.

The elderly man, who was not named by the Times, was isolated in the intensive care unit, but died 90 days later.

Most C. auris infections are treatable with a class of antifungal medications called echinocandins.

According to the Times, people with compromised or weakened immune systems - including elderly people, people who are already sick, and newborns - are the most vulnerable.

As of the end of February, a total of 587 cases had been confirmed across the country, a lot of them in New York State, where there were 309 cases.

Some hospitals needed special cleaning equipment and even had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate the fungus, The New York Times reported.

The Brooklyn patient died 90 days after being admitted to hospital, but the Candida Auris did not disappear. The doctors prescribed antibiotics and antifungal medication, but fluconazole was discontinued after a week when the fungus was tested to be resistant to it, the report said. The first involved a 24-year-old Bangladeshi male who flew to Singapore to seek medical treatment, while the second involved a 69-year-old USA male citizen who was suffering from a lung disease.

This fungus C Auris has also reached other parts of the world like New York, New Jersey and IL, and other regions of Asia. According to the agency, C. auris can cause severe illness in hospitalized patients, and can remain on surfaces in healthcare settings, which allows it to spread between patients.

[Image: courtesy of CDC] The CDC is recommending that laboratories and healthcare facilities with suspected cases immediately contact the CDC-along with state and local health authorities-for guidance.

According to the New York Times, in 2015, there was an outbreak at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, which resulted in 72 total cases of C. auris.

As C. auris is hard to remove from surfaces, it has caused outbreaks in healthcare facilities.

Another outbreak occurred at a hospital in Spain in 2018.

Early identification is critical when dealing with C. auris, although treating the fungus can be hard, as over 90 percent of C. auris infections are resistant to at least one type of drug, according to the CDC.