Question: Where did this fungus come from? Doctors first found this strain back in 2009 after an elderly woman in Tokyo had her ear swabbed.
Candida auris first popped up on the CDC's global radar in 2016, and it wasn't long before the first cases of infection were reported in the U.S. According to the CDC's latest figures, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has risen to 617, with the majority of them clustered in New York City, New Jersey and Chicago.
As of February, 587 cases of C. auris had been confirmed in 12 states nationwide.
To make matters worse, C. auris is commonly resistant to one, if not all, of the antifungal medications that are available, making the infection highly hard to treat.
"Symptoms of C. auris infection depend on the part of the body affected", the CDC explained.
Unfortunately the answer is yes - it's estimated that between 30 and 60% of people who had it have died. So what exactly is Candida auris? Well, it's a type of yeast that can enter a person's bloodstream.
Commonly known as "Candida Auris", this fungal infection is taking the lives of Americans every year because of its fatal features. It's also been found in urine and respiratory samples.
The fungus can spread through either person-to-person contact or from contact with a contaminated object.
"C. auris can spread between patients in healthcare facilities and cause outbreaks".
IDPH and local health departments are working with health care facilities to implement and maintain infection control practices to reduce transmission (cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces and shared equipment, hand hygiene, gloves, gowns, etc.). "There are steps physicians, health care facilities, and individuals can take to avoid infection and prevent the spread of disease, and IDPH encourages all Illinoisans to get educated and stay safe".
As of March 18, the Department of Health for NY said it had recorded 309 cases of the disease where the patient fell ill, while it found an additional 429 cases where people carried the disease on their body but weren't infected. But there are risk factors to be aware of, which include recent surgery, antifungal and broad-spectrum antibiotic use, and diabetes. Also, those who have visited nursing homes and are connected to breathing tubes, feeding tubes and other medical devices are at the highest risk of contracting the infection, the CDCP said. People concerned that they may have a fungal infection or healthcare-associated infection should talk to their health care provider immediately.