A very deadly fungus called Candida Auris is spreading very rapidly in the US. According to CDC, this fungus is drug resistant and it is spreading in long term care hospitals and other health facilities that care for very sick people. The spread of this fungus has recently tripled in the country from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021. CDC also reported that the number of people carrying the virus but were not infected by it also quadrupled during this same period from 1,077 to 4,040. Preliminary data suggests the numbers have continued to rise.
Who Are At Risk?
According to scientists, this fungus is not harmful to healthy people. If a persons immune system is string, it can fight the fungus off. But, people who are medically fragile like nursing home patients who are on ventilators or cancer patients on chemotherapy are very much at risk of contracting this fungal infection. As per reports, between 30 to 70 percent of hospitalized people who develop bloodstream infections are estimated to die.
Reason For Its Sudden Spread
Candida Auris fungus has been thriving in the environment for a long time. But, recent rise in the global temperatures might have spurred its spread among people, say experts. Heat is something that causes this fungus to evolve and become more tolerant towards heat, making it more effective in infecting people. And it infects people whose body temperatures have served as an effective barrier against invasive fungal diseases for a long time. As per scientists, excessive use of anti-fungal, disinfectants on crops might be the reason why candida Auris is thriving. Experts also say that climate change is one of biggest factors why these kind of fungal infections begin to thrive in human bodies.
The first thing to do if someone is found with Candida Auris on their skin is to isolate them and prevent others from being colonized by this fungus. This fungus as mentioned above, will not sicken everyone but it can be deadly if it manages to infect the bloodstream, organs wounds. The effects on them can be deadly. Symptoms that you must note are: chills and fever. This fungus has the ability to cause infections that are fatal in the heart, brain and bloodstream.
CDC states that, if hospitals in the US start emphasizing on surveillance, deep cleaning with good disinfectants and follow proper hand hygiene, this spread can be curbed altogether.