Deadly Candida auris fungus spreading quickly in America

Experts say we are seeing this new strain because of climate change. Labs show it can survive in warmer temperatures.

Mark Sudol

Mar 21, 2023, 3:20 PM

Updated 434 days ago

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A deadly fungal infection is spreading around the country, with several cases so far in New York.
Candida auris is a fungal infection of which experts at the Yale School of Medicine have been aware. They've studied previous Candida species but say this one is different.
Experts say we are seeing this new strain because of climate change. Labs show it can survive in warmer temperatures.
"It developed independently on four different continents at the same time," said Scott Roberts, associate medical director for infection prevention at Yale New Haven Health.
Doctors say the fungus affects people in nursing homes or others who may have a low immune system and can spread person to person.
"Some of these are fully drug-resistant, and they're really resistant to all our major classes of fungal medications," said Roberts.
Yale says there are very few cases in Connecticut, but they've seen it before.
"Our hospital had a case, I believe right before the pandemic, and it was an international travel case from somebody who received health care abroad in another facility and was transferred directly to our hospital," said Roberts.
"It can persist on surfaces and on devices for extended periods of time," said Saint Vincent's Medical Center Dr. Jo-Anne Passalacqua.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the fungus can show up as a rash. Symptoms include fever and chills.
"It produces blood stream infection often associated with an indwelling device like a porta catheter or central IV line," said Passalacqua.
Doctors say they haven't seen any cases yet at Saint Vincent's Medical Center. They say for most of us this is not a big concern.
Doctors say they don't expect this fungus to ever get to a pandemic level like COVID-19.


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