Candida auris – our next health crisis?

In late March, just a few weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified and drew attention to a previously unknown fungal threat called Candida auris that is causing deaths and infections in hospital patients nationwide and globally.

Physician and professor of infectious diseases at West Virginia University, Dr. Arif Sarwari recently shared details about Candida auris, how it spreads and how concerned the public should be.

Sarwari explained that Candida auris is a type of yeast infection that is a single-cell fungus that can infect humans and is considered by many medical experts to be “moderately” resistant to existing antifungal drugs. The fungus is believed to be more concerning for those with weakened immune systems and those with IV catheters who are also receiving broad spectrum antibiotics.

It can contaminate surfaces and is spread easily from patient to patient in hospital and medical facility settings. Healthcare professionals suggest good hand hygiene and that patients and staff wear isolation gowns and gloves which are to be discarded immediately following interactions between patients and staff.

We can’t afford to let our guard down now that it appears that COVID is not as threatening as it once was. We encourage our readers to continue to practice sound hygiene procedures and to see a healthcare professional immediately if an illness or infection is suspected.

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