A drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus ‘Candida Auris’ is spreading rapidly across the United States.
About Candida Auris (C. auris) –
- It is a multi-drug resistant fungus that is capable of causing invasive infections in the human body.
- It was first identified in Japan in 2009.
How is it contracted?
- Most cases of the fungus have been reported in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
- It is generally thought to be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or by person-to-person transmission.
- People who are already suffering from other medical conditions, recent hospital stays, and invasive devices are most at risk of contracting the fungus.
How does the fungus act on the body?
- There are two ways C. auris can affect the body,
- The fungus can either live on a specific region, such as the skin, rectum, or mouth, in a process called “asymptomatic colonization,” where a patient has no symptoms but can spread it to other people.
- It can enter the bloodstream or wounds, where it can cause severe invasive infections.
- Its symptoms are often similar to those of other common diseases and hence diagnosis is difficult.
- The most common symptoms of C.auris include fever and chills that don’t go away after treatment with antibiotics.
- Mortality Rate — It is estimated to be between 30-60%.
- Treatment —
- Most C. auris infections are treatable with antifungal medications called echinocandins.
- However, there has been a rise in cases resistant to the main three classes of antifungals available, making it harder to treat patients.