Emerging Threat: Drug-Resistant Fungus Spreading Rampantly in U.S. Health Care Facilities
#drugresistantfungus #healthcare #publichealth #infectionprevention
Health care facilities in the United States are now facing rampant cases of a drug-resistant fungus. Candida auris, also referred to as C. auris, is a fungus that is found mostly in healthcare settings like hospitals and nursing homes. It is highly resistant to multiple antifungal drugs, and it poses a severe threat to public health.
What is Candida auris?
C. auris was first identified in 2009 in Japan. Since then, it has become a global health concern due to its rapid worldwide spread. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this fungus has caused severe infections in people in more than 30 countries. It usually affects people who are already ill, its symptoms can be challenging to identify, and it can spread quickly in healthcare settings.
Why is Candida auris a threat?
The CDC has designated C. auris as an “urgent threat” to public health because it can cause severe and deadly infections. The fungus is resistant to most antifungal drugs, which makes the infections difficult to treat. Furthermore, it can survive on surfaces for weeks, increasing the risk of transmission.
How is Candida auris transmitted?
C. auris can spread through contact with surfaces that have been contaminated with the fungus or from person to person. Since it can survive on surfaces for a prolonged period, it can quickly spread in settings with inadequate infection prevention practices. People who are at risk for C. auris infections include those who have recently had surgery, have a central venous catheter, or are taking broad-spectrum antibiotics.
What needs to be done to stop the spread of Candida auris?
Preventing the spread of C. auris requires a collaborative effort on various fronts. Health care facilities need to ensure that they have robust infection prevention and control measures in place. This includes effective environmental cleaning, hand hygiene, and the use of personal protective equipment. In addition, timely and accurate laboratory detection and reporting of cases of C. auris is critical.
In conclusion, the emergence of drug-resistant infections is a significant challenge to public health. The spread of C. auris in health care facilities is a cause for concern, and preventative measures need to be taken to stop the spread of the fungus. As always, practicing good infection prevention measures like hand hygiene and wearing personal protective equipment appropriately can help reduce the risk of infections. #HEALTH