Drug-Resistant Fungus Outbreak in NJ

Source: Courier-Post Online

There have been 141 confirmed cases of Candida auris in New Jersey and 22 probable cases, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH).

What is Candida auris and why is it such a serious threat? It’s a fungus — also referred to as C. auris — that is resistant to all three available classes of anti-fungal medicines, according to the Center for Disease and Control (CDC).

There are 806 confirmed cases of C. auris in the United States, according to a report. In 2018, reported cases increased 318% when compared to the average number of cases reported in 2015 to 2017, according to the CDC.

About one in four C. auris patients die, according to the CDC.

The CDC lists Candida auris as concerning for the following reasons:

It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.

It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.

It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.

Candida auris can be carried on patients’ skin without causing infection, therefore allowing the fungus to spread to others.

In effort to stop the spread of C. auris, the CDC recommends cleaning your hands with hand sanitizer or use soap and water before and after coming in contact with a person with C. auris. The CDC also recommends quickly reporting cases of C. auris to public health departments.

If a case of Candida auris is suspected or identified, contact your local health department and the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service at (609) 826-5964.

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