New fungus is discovered by scientists

A look at the new fungus Candida Auris

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A look at the new fungus Candida Auris

Over the past couple of weeks, a new deadly and highly contagious infection has been spreading rapidly in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The infection is called “Candida auris” and it is causing an uprising of concern among healthcare providers.

It is often multi-drug resistant, meaning that it is unaffected by multiple antifungal drugs used to treat other strands of Candida infections. According to the CDC, the infection has “tripled nationally from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021,” and “cases where a person carries the fungus but is not infected nearly quadrupled from 1,077 to 4,040 in the same period.” This data suggests that the numbers only have and will continue to rise.

Although highly infectious, scientists believe that healthy people with a strong immune system that can fight off the infection will not be in danger from it. However, people with medical problems or weakened immune systems have a threat of being greatly impacted by Candida auris. Experts are in a rush to find plans for infection control since it tends to linger on surfaces and spreads through contact. Since it stays on surfaces for a longer period, it makes it very difficult to effectively clean healthcare facilities and get rid of the infection. Disinfectants commonly used in hospitals are not effective against the bacteria, creating a vast concern among hospitals.

Luckily, scientists and healthcare providers have relatively new exposure to how to contain this type of infection due to the CoronaVirus, and Candida auris is expected to not be as nearly as major as Corona was.

Healthcare officials first discovered the fungus in 2016 but it is now detected in more than half the states. However, cases are thought to be underestimated since it requires special equipment and is conducted unevenly across the states.

The infection of Candida affects the bloodstream, heart, and brain, attacking all three with possibly deadly infections. Fever, chills, and low blood pressure are the most common symptoms and people are advised to get tested if they experience these symptoms.

Originally, researchers believed that Candida auris was unable to withstand the temperature of the human body, but have recently discovered that it is capable of doing so due to adapting to the warmer temperatures of the planet. Thus, researchers and healthcare officials are working hand in hand to provide a way in seizing the spread and finding a drug to fight against various strands of the Candida auris infection.