Deadly Fungal 'Superbug' Spreads Worldwide, Alarming Scientists

New York has highest number of antibiotic resistant fungus cases

New Jersey is among the states worst affected by an increasing incidence of the potentially deadly fungus Candida auris, whose resistance to drugs is causing headaches for hospitals, state and federal health officials said on Monday.

The report mentions one case from last May when an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn offshoot of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery in New York City.

Note : Nearly half of the patients who contract C Auris die within 90 days, according to a statement from the CDC.

'In New York and New Jersey, cases were identified in multiple acute care hospitals, but further investigation found most had overlapping stays at interconnected long-term care facilities and acute care hospitals within a limited geographic area.

The fungus can infect wounds, ears and the bloodstream and take root in the urinary tract.

"One of the goals is to ensure "the right drug for the right bug" so that organisms don't have the opportunity to become drug-resistant", said Kerry McKean, a spokeswoman for the trade group.

Elderly sick patients and ill infants tend to be the most vulnerable to the germs.

Chakrabarti adds that C.auris was increasingly catching the attention of healthcare providers because it resides largely in hospital ICUs and spreads fast.

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Nett said that not all standard laboratory diagnostic methods are created to accurately detect Candida auris relatively new species. However, many health care experts warn that if the US health care system doesn't start using antibiotics more restrictively, a larger part of the population can become susceptible, as C. auris increases its resistance to medications.

In May a year ago, researchers from Imperial College London warned of a potential "global collapse" in ability to control and fight fungal infections as drug-resistant strains grow and spread. Fever and chills that don't go away following drug treatment are common candida auris symptoms, but the only way to diagnose the fungus is through a lab test.

Candida auris shown on a petri dish.

"It's an enormous problem", said Matthew Fisher, a professor of fungal epidemiology at Imperial College London, who was a co-author of a recent scientific review on the rise of resistant fungi.

Scientists say that unless more effective new medicines are developed and unnecessary use of antimicrobial drugs is sharply curbed, risk will spread to healthier populations. "We depend on being able to treat those patients with antifungals".

Many of these patients had other serious illnesses which likely contributed to the deaths, she said.

In both cases, the infections seemed to be imported from overseas as there were no reports of a Candida auris outbreak from Singapore, the report said. While it doesn't spread person to person, CDC warns that this fungus lingers on the skin and surfaces for a prolonged period of time so that any setting can be infected for a long time.

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