He highly contagious fungus Candida auris It is spreading at an alarming rate in the United States, according to a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday.
This is a particularly dangerous microorganism because it resists treatment with the most common antifungal medications. The pathogen is present in more than 30 countries and was first reported in the United States in 2016, in the states of New York and Illinois.
Currently, according to the CDC, found in more than half of the 50 states and it mainly attacks older people with weakened immune systems.
A total of 3,270 clinical cases and 7,413 cases of Candida auris detection have been reported in the United States as of December 31, 2021. The percentage increase in clinical cases has grown each year, from a 44% increase in 2019 to a 95% increase in 2021.
The increase is “dramatic” in the number of cases and transmission, according to a research article published this Monday in Annals of Medicine and compiled by CDC researchers.
While the recent article does not include the number of cases for 2022, a CDC website tracking the spread of the fungus shows that 2,377 infections were reported last year, another sharp increase in the opinion of health officials.
Scott Roberts, an infectious disease specialist in the Yale School of Medicinealthough he was not involved in the new study, he cautioned that the increased prevalence and drug resistance of Candida auris implies a serious threat to health.
“I think this problem will not go away. I really think it will only increase over time”, he pondered, commenting: “Unlike other mushrooms that are normally acquired from the environment, Candida auris spreads easily from person to person”.
And he added: “Once it settles, in a nursing home, for example, it is almost impossible to eradicate it. As with patients, they can be colonized for years, even for life.”
At this point, it is important to highlight that, according to the authorities, the fungus “is not considered a threat to healthy people”. They warned thatcan cause serious illness and death in people who are already sickuse invasive medical devices or have prolonged or frequent stays in healthcare facilities”.
So far, about 30% to 60% of infected people have died from the pathogen, although this “is based on information from a limited number of patients,” the CDC clarified.
In this sense, the agency’s epidemiologist, Meghan Lyman, maintained that “the rapid rise and spread The geographic numbers of cases are concerning and underscore the need for continued surveillance, expanded laboratory capacity, faster diagnostic testing, and compliance with proven infection prevention and control.”
People who get invasive Candida species infections are usually already ill with other conditions, making it difficult to know if they have a Candida auris infection specifically.
The symptoms The most common symptoms of an invasive Candida species infection are: fever and chills that do not improve after antibiotic treatment given for a suspected bacterial infection.
Only through a laboratory test can a Candida auris infection be diagnosed. The US agency recommended seeing a doctor if you think you have a fungal or healthcare-associated infection.