Potentially deadly super fungus is spreading faster

New research has found that the fungus Candida auris, which causes a highly contagious and potentially fatal

infection is spreading faster in US health care settings and is likely becoming 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 increasedfrom year to during the study period: in 2019 by 44% compared with 2018 year; in 2020  — by 59% compared to 2019  in 2021  — by 95% compared to 2020  The study did not include data on the number of deaths among clinical infections.

This shows that the transfer rate is likelyis increasing, said lead study 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 significantincreased during the study period. But this is partly due to an increase in the number of screening tests. In 2019 19 756 tests were conducted throughout the country, and in 2021 more than 40 000 tests. This suggests colony counts may be underestimated due to a lack of screening tests, which could contribute to the spread of the disease, Lyman said.

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

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