Hundreds of cases of drug-resistant superbug reported in NYC

Candida Auris

Enlarge Image Candida Auris

Across the world, a new, drug-resistant infection has appeared.

The yeast targets people with weakened immune systems, such as babies and elderly people, and causes hard-to-cure infections.

If you flipped through the New York Times over the weekend, you may still be feeling unnerved by a worrisome story about Candida auris, a mysterious fungus that poses a threat to people with weakened immune systems and has been rearing its unsafe head in hospitals around the globe.

The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not.

Candida auris is a fungus that is getting health experts nervous not only because it's drug-resistant, but also because it is fast-acting.

It was first detected in 2009 in Japan and is now in more than a dozen countries. The doctors prescribed antibiotics and antifungal medication, but fluconazole was discontinued after a week when the fungus was tested to be resistant to it, the report said.

As of the end of February, a total of 587 cases had been confirmed across the country, majority in New York State, where there were 309 cases. Most deaths occur within 90 days.

"Based on information from a limited number of patients, 30-60% of people with C. auris infections have died". The first involved a 24-year-old Bangladeshi male who flew to Singapore to seek medical treatment, while the second involved a 69-year-old United States male citizen who was suffering from a lung disease. As you can see from the map below, New York, New Jersey, and IL have seen the most cases by far-with more than 550 cases between them.

Dr. Lynn Sosa, an expert on epidemiology, said she sees Candida Auris as the most serious and significant threat among drug-resistant infections: "It's invincible and hard to diagnose", said Dr. Sosa, who says almost half of patients who die, may die within 90 days.

Business Insider has contacted the CDC Institute of Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology and Health Promotion Board for comment.

As C. auris is hard to remove from surfaces, it has caused outbreaks in healthcare facilities.

Now hospitals and local governments are reluctant to disclose outbreaks for fear of being seen as infection hubs.

Tests revealed that the fungus was everywhere in the patient's room, and the situation so serious that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to dismantle several ceilings and floor tiles to make it disappear from its surface.

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