C. auris “thrives” in hospitals and lingers on surfaces in patient’s rooms
It’s now around ten years since Candida auris (C. auris) first became noticeable in a patient’s ear in Japan: it’s already established as a major “serious global health threat” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. C. auris has been identified as being highly resistant to antibiotics – and is a particular threat in the care home and hospital environment, according to a recent report on the Inverse website.
Article author Emma Betuel writes that C. auris is a type of yeast that can survive on skin, causing apparently non-serious problems such as chills and fevers. But it strikes against more vulnerable people.
“It usually affects patients who are already sick and the elderly — it appears to thrive in places like retirement homes and hospitals.”
The problems multiply when the fungus gets in to the bloodstream she states: it becomes “incredibly dangerous”, with CDC estimates currently being that “one in three patients with an invasive C. auris infection die.”
Cases began to appear in South Africa, Venezuela and Kuwait in 2013, the USA by 2016 and the UK in 2015 it is reported.
Diligence and hand washing
Great concern is being expressed by scientists on the grounds that C. auris is highly resistant to widely used echinocandins – a type of antibiotic.
Quoted in the article is Chief of the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, Tom Chiller, who expressed concerns that some strains can become “‘pan-resistant”. He previously discovered that C. auris can survive many commonly used cleaning materials and will linger on all sorts of surfaces in patient’s rooms.
“Early detection and infection control in hospitals and nursing homes is the most important way to stop its spread.”