Potentially deadly super fungus is spreading faster

A new study has found that the fungus Candida auris, which causes a highly contagious and potentially fatal

infection is spreading faster in US healthcare settings and is likely to become more resistant to treatment.

C.auris is a fungal type of yeast that infects humans and spreads through the blood to organs. Infection most commonly occurs in healthcare and long-term care settings. It rarely occurs in healthy people. But for people who are immunosuppressed or who receive regular invasive treatment for other illnesses, C. auris infection can be fatal.

The first infection with C.auris was registered in Japan in 2009, and since then the fungus has been found in many other countries, including the United States. The first confirmed case was registered there in 2016. The disease made headlines back in 2019, when the number of cases was skyrocketing around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it still "poses a serious global health threat" today.

In a new study published March 21 inin the Annals of Internal Medicine, scientists conducted a new assessment of C. auris cases reported in the United States between 2019 and 2021. A total of 10,683 cases were reported during this period. Of these, 3,270 cases were clinical infections, meaning the patient had symptoms prior to testing. But in 7,413 cases, people were carriers of the fungus, but did not show symptoms before routine screening. People who carry the fungus can still spread the pathogen and develop symptoms of the disease, but later.

The number of clinical infections increased from year to yearper year during the study period: in 2019 - by 44% compared to 2018; in 2020 — by 59% compared to 2019; by 95% in 2021 compared to 2020. The study does not include data on the number of deaths among clinical infections.

This shows that the transfer rate is probablyis increasing, said study lead author Dr. Megan Lyman, a CDC medical officer. “The number of cases has continued to rise since 2021,” she added.

The number of screening colonies is also significant.increased during the study period. But this is partly due to the increase in the number of screening tests. In 2019, 19,756 tests were carried out across the country, and in 2021, more than 40,000 tests were carried out. This suggests that the number of colonies may be underestimated due to a lack of screening tests that could help spread the disease, Lyman said.

The number of states reporting cases of C. auris has also increased, from 10 states in 2018 before the start of the study to 27 states in 2021.

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