Outbreaks of the drug-resistant fungus Candida auris (C. auris) has been reported in more than 30 countries. That’s according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This yeast-type fungus affects the bloodstream, nervous system as well as several of the internal organs.
The World Health Organisation estimates that the disease has a mortality rate from 30% to 53% of patients.
The CDC said new data showed the fungus has “spread at an alarming rate in US healthcare facilities” in 2020 and 2021, reports the BBC.
It’s believed that rising temperatures linked to climate change could be playing a role in the rising number of infections.
The disease was first discovered in 2009 in a patient’s ear canal at the Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital. That explains the disease’s name as auris is Latin for ear.
Dr Tina Joshi, an associate professor in Molecular Biology at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom told the BBC that explained the worries around C. auris.
“The biggest problem with this fungus is the resistance to the drugs we have. But another issue is that identifying C. auris infection is quite difficult and it can easily be mistaken for other fungi, leading to the wrong treatment.”
Image credit: McKnight’s Long-Term Care News