Dangerous, Drug-resistant Candida Auris Fungus Found In New Jersey

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 New York Times has reported one case, in which an old man spent 3-months in hospital, eventually dying.

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.

We have found specifically that people who are admitted to private sector hospitals are three times at a higher risk of developing a Candida Auris infections because of the current epidemiology and pattern of infection.

"Early detection of patients infected with C. auris, as well as good infection prevention and control practices, such as meticulous hand hygiene and environmental disinfection, can prevent its spread", the spokesman said.

NY has seen more than 300 cases, while there have been 144 cases in IL, most in Chicago.

Candida aurus, which was discovered in 2009, has spread across the globe, and has picked up steam in the US.

It's a type of yeast called Candida auris and has been causing severe illness in hospitalized patients.

Nett said that not all standard laboratory diagnostic methods are created to accurately detect Candida auris relatively new species. To date, the CDC says there have been 587 confirmed cases in the United States.

At the moment Candida Auris is found in nearly 100 hospitals across South Africa so it is a widespread problem. People who recently had surgery, live in nursing homes, or who have breathing tubes, feeding tubes or central venous catheters appear to be at highest risk. And symptoms are hard to detect because it's often infecting people who are already sick.

Researchers said drugs used to treat fungal infections in plants and animals are in danger of becoming ineffective and fear the same could happen to those treatments used for human infections.

The CDC has labeled it a "serious global health threat".

The cases seen at SGH were treated with a class of antifungal drugs known as echinocandin and the contaminated environments were disinfected with ultraviolet C rays and hydrogen peroxide vapour.

For decades, public health experts have warned that the overuse of antibiotics was reducing the effectiveness of drugs that have lengthened lifespans by curing bacterial infections once commonly fatal. It's profile was raised by a front-page story in The New York Times on Sunday describing its growing presence in overseas hospitals and, increasingly, in the U.S.

MOH spokesman said: "Healthcare institutions in Singapore have infection prevention and control measures in place to prevent and control any healthcare-associated infections, including C. auris".

  • Sylvester Abbott