Published on March 22nd, 2023
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated Candida Auris (C. Auris) as an “Urgent Threat” following a recent study that showed the fungus has been spreading rapidly through healthcare facilities.
C. Auris is resistant to several antifungal medications and has been steadily increasing in reported cases since it was first discovered in 2016.
However, the most significant increase occurred between 2020 and 2021, as indicated by the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The emergence of this drug-resistant fungus poses a significant public health threat and highlights the urgent need for new and effective treatments to combat fungal infections.
The study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that cases of Candida Auris (C. Auris) have been rapidly spreading in healthcare facilities.
According to the study, the number of cases detected through screening increased threefold from 2020 to 2021, totaling 4,041 cases. Additionally, the number of cases that resulted in infection rose from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021.
The emergence of C. Auris is concerning because the fungus is resistant to several antifungal medications, making it difficult to treat.
Furthermore, 17 states in the United States identified their first case of C. Auris ever between 2019 and 2021, indicating that the fungus is spreading geographically.
The CDC has designated C. Auris as an “Urgent Threat” due to its potential impact on public health.
The emergence of drug-resistant fungi such as C. Auris highlights the need for improved infection prevention and control measures in healthcare facilities, as well as the development of new and effective treatments for fungal infections.
CDC Warns Against Candida Auris
What is Candida Auris, or C. Auris?
Candida Auris, also known as C. Auris, is a type of yeast that can cause severe infections in humans.
It was first identified in Japan in 2009, and since then has been reported in many countries around the world.
C. Auris is concerning because it is often resistant to multiple antifungal medications, making it difficult to treat.
It can cause bloodstream infections, wound infections, and ear infections, among others. Additionally, C. Auris can spread easily in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, leading to outbreaks.
Due to its resistance to treatment and ability to spread quickly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated C. Auris as an “Urgent Threat” to public health.
Candida Auris Infection Symptoms
The symptoms of a Candida Auris infection can vary depending on the type of infection and where it occurs in the body.
In some cases, people infected with C. Auris may not show any symptoms at all, making it difficult to diagnose and treat the infection. However, common symptoms of a C. Auris infection may include:
- Fever and chills
- Fatigue and weakness
- Aches and pains
- Skin infections, such as redness, rash, or blisters
- Ear infections, which may cause pain, discharge, or hearing loss
- Wound infections, which may cause pain, redness, and swelling
- Bloodstream infections, which can cause severe illness and lead to sepsis.
It is important to note that C. Auris infections are often difficult to treat due to their resistance to antifungal medications, so it is crucial to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of an infection.
How To Fight Fungal Infections
Fungal infections can be fought using a variety of methods, including:
- Antifungal medications: Antifungal medications are the primary treatment for most fungal infections.
- These medications work by killing the fungus or stopping it from growing. Antifungal medications can be taken orally or applied topically, depending on the type and severity of the infection.
- Good hygiene: Practicing good hygiene can help prevent fungal infections. This includes washing your hands regularly, keeping your skin clean and dry, and avoiding sharing personal items, such as towels or clothing, with others.
- Avoiding certain medications: Some medications, such as antibiotics and corticosteroids, can increase your risk of developing a fungal infection.
- If you are taking these medications, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.
- Managing underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can weaken the immune system and increase your risk of developing a fungal infection. Proper management of these conditions can help reduce your risk.
- Using natural remedies: Some natural remedies, such as tea tree oil and garlic, have antifungal properties and may help fight fungal infections.
- However, it is important to talk to your doctor before using these remedies, as they may interact with other medications or have side effects.
It is important to note that the best way to fight fungal infections is to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Practicing good hygiene, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and seeking prompt medical attention if you notice any symptoms of an infection can all help reduce your risk.
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