Deadly Fungus Arrives In The United States

Posted: Nov 7 2016, 11:36am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Deadly Fungus Arrives in the United States
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A yeast is drifting throughout hospitals, taking root in open wounds, blood, and even inside of people's ears. It is almost impossible to treat by any of the methods we commonly use. It is impossible to tell it apart from its cousins and it has cause chaos in some hospitals.

And now it is in the United States.

Doctors first discovered this yeast, called Candida auris in 2009 in Japan, where a patient complained of an infection. It belongs to the Candida fungi that typically shows up deep within the guts of ill people. They typically establish a colony there and emerge after some time, like a sleeper cell. They wait until they can take advantage of a compromised immune system.

Still, this one doesn't behave that way. It jumps from patient to patient with ease. There have been outbreaks of more than 30 patients each. As of June, it expanded to eight countries beyond Japan.

In 2015, a paper argued that we weren't evolving our methods fast enough to keep up with Candida, which can lead to misdiagnosis and clinical failure. The authors say that the state of infection outpaces reports, especially in countries where there are underdeveloped medical systems.

But now, it is a problem in the United States.

Thirteen cases have been discovered so far in New York, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey. Most showed some drug resistance.

"All of the patients had serious underlying medical conditions and had been hospitalized an average of 18 days when C. auris was identified," the CDC wrote. "Four of the patients died; it is unclear whether the deaths were associated with C. auris infection or underlying health conditions."

The agency is encouraging doctors to use strict protocols to protect sick patients from the disease, using things that actively work against fungi.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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