A new superbug, an antibiotic resistant fungus called Candida auris, has landed in the United States and the CDC wants doctors and hospitals to be in the lookout for it. There was one case in 2013, one in 2015, and five cases this year. The CDC isn’t clear whether the bug was the primary cause of the deaths of the patients, who had been hospitalized for respiratory failure, cancer and other serious problems, but it is worried about Candida auris nonetheless. Some of the cases were identified through an examination of lab records conducted after the CDC sent out a clinical alert in June. The cases were identified in health care facilities in New York, Illinois, and New Jersey.
In the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report researchers noted that the fungus had been “isolated from samples taken from multiple surfaces in one patient’s health care environment, which further suggests that spread within health care settings is possible. To decrease the risk for transmission, health care personnel in acute care settings should use Standard and Contact Precautions for patients colonized or infected with C. auris. In nursing homes, providers should consider the level of patient care being provided and the presence of transmission risk factors when deciding on the level of precautions. If such patients are transferred to other health care facilities, receiving facilities should be notified of the presence of this multidrug-resistant organism to ensure appropriate precautions are continued.”
Source: CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report