A multi drug-resistant fungus is getting a lot of attention after The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described it as a “global emerging threat” that can cause invasive infection and death.
Candida auris is not killed by common anti-fungal drugs, which makes infections difficult to treat. When it enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body, it can cause serious invasive infections in the blood, heart and brain, which can be life-threatening. The fungus can spread through contact with infected patients, or contaminated surfaces and equipment.
The most common symptoms of invasive Candida infection are fever and chills that do not improve after antibiotic treatment for a suspected bacterial infection. The only way to diagnose the fungus is through a lab test.
Tom Chiller with CDC says, "this is not something I am worried about at all for the general public or for heath individuals, this is really a rare infection in the sickest of the sick." He says the concern is for people who've been in the hospital for a long time or those getting medical procedures.
He says the challenge with this fungus is that it's a little harder to kill. "It's important to look for it and if you do find it you have to step up your disinfection strategies, but you can control it and you can get rid of it," says Chiller. He says the bottom line is you just have to know if it's there.