Global health threat found in Illinois: CDC

Bacteria with special resistance to antibiotics are increasingly found in the US increasing worries that the country will soon see a superbug that cannot be treated with known medications

In a recent feature on the spread of the fungus, the New York Times reported that some of the symptoms of C. auris include fever and chills. Patients in some countries have died after the fungus infected their bloodstream and overwhelmed their system.

Past year in the month of May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery and to the hospital's surprise, the man's blood test revealed he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious, TOI reports.

Most strains of C. auris are resistant to at least one antifungal drug class, according to the CDC, and more than one-third of the strains are resistant to two.

The hospital had to use "special cleaning equipment" and even had to remove part of the ceiling and floors to get rid of the fungus. Candida auris is the multi-drug resistant fungus that has public-health authorities across the world very anxious. After looking at people in contact with those first 77 cases, the CDC determined that the quick-spreading fungus had infected 45 more.

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Candida auris, a drug-resistant fungus, which can cause death and serious illnesses in people with weakened immune systems, is spreading across the world - including in some of America's major cities. One of the things that makes it so especially unsafe is that it's resistant to major anti-fungal medications, according to the Times.

The fungus was later found to be resistant to fluconazole, but the patient was not given other antifungal drugs as she was recovering well and was later discharged. However, the level of threat to the general public is still unknown.

Some hospitals and medical professionals have argued that since precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of such outbreaks, publicising an outbreak would scare people unnecessarily, The New York Times said. "In some outbreaks, reported mortality has approached 60 percent". Growing numbers of cases have been reported in Florida, California, and a handful of other states. For immediate solutions, the advisory suggests, patients confirmed positive for infection caused by Candida auris should be kept in isolated rooms or with those with the same infection.

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.

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As of February 2019, there are 587 confirmed cases of candida auris in the United States alone. Nett said that the CDC does not necessarily have to release more information than that.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S., 90 per cent of Candida auris infections are resistant to at least one such antifungal drug, while 30 per cent are resistant to two or more major drugs.

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".

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