A new study has shown that an emerging fungus is spreading at an alarming rate throughout healthcare facilities. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have labeled it an urgent threat.
Since it was first reported in 2016, the number of cases of Candida auris, which is resistant to several antifungal medications, has increased annually. The study found that from 2020 to 2021, it grew at its fastest rate.
Lead author Dr. Meghan Lyman, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said that, the rapid rise and geographic spread of cases is concerning and emphasizes the need for continued surveillance, expanded lab capacity, faster diagnostic tests and adherence to established infection control and prevention strategies.
The number of infections that were resistant to the recommended antifungal medication, echinocandins, which researchers were also concerned about, which tripled in comparison to the previous two years.
According to the agency, patients who are extremely ill, have invasive medical devices, or spend a lot of time or time in health care facilities can all be at risk for fungal infections, which can be fatal.
According to the agency, the fungus can invade the blood, heart, and brain, resulting in death. This kind of infection causes more than one death per three patients.
The pathogen is also dangerous, according to experts, because it frequently develops resistance to commonly prescribed antifungal medications. Additionally, it is frequently mistaken for other infections and difficult to identify without the use of specialized laboratory equipment.