A deadly superbug fungus continues to spread around the world and has now been reported in 14 states.
Candida auris is often resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections and is difficult to recognize with standard laboratory methods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The fungus, which is mostly found in hospitals and nursing homes and mostly infects those with weakened immune systems, was first identified in 2009 in the ear of a 70-year-old Japanese woman.
The CDC has confirmed 806 cases of C. auris in the United States, with most infections in New York and Illinois.
It reports an additional 30 probable cases, which were identified when laboratories with current cases of C. auris reviewed past microbiology records.
According to its most recent report, the breakdown of states is:
- California: five confirmed, zero probable
- Conncticut: one confirmed, zero probable
- Florida: 24 confirmed, zero probable
- Georgia: one confirmed, zero probable
- Illinois: 227 confirmed, four probable
- Indiana: two confirmed, zero probable
- Maryland: five confirmed, zero probable
- Massachusetts: eight confirmed, zero probable
- New Jersey: 137 confirmed, 22 probable
- New York: 388 confirmed, four probable
- Oklahoma: two confirmed, zero probable
- Texas: five confirmed, zero probable
- Virginia: one confirmed, zero probable
The CDC said it considers C. auris a serious global health threat for three main reasons:
- It is often multidrug-resistant.
- It can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
- It has caused outbreaks in health care settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that health care facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.
The CDC says that the spread of the fungus is worldwide:
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