U.S. records baker’s dozen of tough yeast infections
Of the total number, seven transpired between May 2013 and August 2016, according to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The remaining six cases, identified after the publishing date, remain under scrutiny.
What distinguishes the Candida auris (C. auris) yeast is its apparent resistance to existing anti-fungal treatments. The strain was first identified in Japan in 2009, followed by cases in a dozen or more countries including Colombia, India, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, Venezuela and the United Kingdom.
Of the seven U.S. cases documented in the MMWR, all were contained within the four states of New York, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey; the victims had serious existing medical conditions and had been hospitalized for an average of 18 days before the infection was identified.
Four of those patients died, but whether the cause was C. auris was unclear. The CDC did suggest that the infection seems more likely to spread in a health care setting. Additionally, the yeast is not easily identified, as it can be mistaken for another strain.
The CDC recommends implementing a series of steps for acute-care facilities, from basic hygiene and disinfectant practices to reporting occurrences immediately. The CDC is providing laboratory support and tracking the fungus via its Emerging Infections Program.
"It appears that C. auris arrived in the United States only in the past few years," Dr. Tom Chiller, chief of the CDC Mycotic Diseases Branch, said. "We're working hard with partners to better understand this fungus and how it spreads so we can improve infection control recommendations and help protect people."
Organizations in this story
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