The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has warned against a very rare and fatal fungal infection called Candida auris, or C. auris.
What Happened: The national public health agency said the fungal infection is spreading rapidly throughout the country.
See also: Large Vaccine Players Including GSK, Moderna Prepare For Bird Flu Vaccine Just In Case Health officials said the fungal infection mainly affects elderly people and those with weak immune systems. C. auris is not a threat to healthy people, according to the CDC, because people who are very sick, have long or frequent stays in healthcare facilities are at increased risk of acquiring C. auris. Candida auris may not be treated with the usual antifungal drugs and can lead to death in up to 60% of cases, according to the CDC. In the US, over 2,300 confirmed cases were reported in 2022, a steep jump compared to 1,474 cases in 2021, according to the CDC. There were only 757 confirmed cases confirmed in 2020.
According to health officials, the fungus not responding to antifungal drugs is very worrisome, as those drugs are usually the first choice for treatment. The experts believe that the situation needs more investigation and development of better protection and prevention methods against Candida auris.
The rise in echinocandin-resistant cases and evidence of transmission is particularly worrying because echinocandins are first-line therapy for invasive Candida infections, including C auris, according to a paper on the spread of the fungus in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
It added that these findings highlight the need for improved detection and infection control practices to prevent the spread of C auris.
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