Drug-resistant Candida auris fungal infections: Chicago medical experts

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A dangerous fungus is spreading throughout the nation at an alarming rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Infections have increased threefold in the past three years. Illinois, which recorded roughly 300 instances over the last 12 months, is one of only a few states with more cases.

Most frequently seen in nursing homes is the drug-resistant fungus Candida auris. During the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic, certain medical short cuts may have accelerated the spread, as CBS2's Chris Tye revealed Tuesday night.

Generally speaking, healthy individuals are not harmed by the yeast Candida auris. Yet, it can be fatal to weak people in nursing homes and hospitals.

It may infect ears, wounds, and even the bloodstream due to its ease of dissemination. It can be fatal if it affects the heart valve or bloodstream. Candida auris silently started to rise while US physicians exerted every effort to halt COVID.

Dr. Mary Hayden, head of infectious diseases at Rush University Medical Center, expressed her concern about it. "I am worried that the epidemic made things worse."

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The yearly number of cases rose from 756 in 2020 to 1,471 in 2021, a 95 percent rise. According to preliminary data, there will be at least 2,377 more instances in 2022. Patients with Candida auris have already been recorded from 30 states and the District of Columbia.

CBS 2 is keeping tabs on the spread. Just six drug-resistant Candida auris infections were reported in Illinois in 2016 compared to none in Indiana.

It has increased dramatically over the past 12 months, reaching 276 instances in Illinois and 87 in Indiana.

Unwashed hands or medical equipment can transmit Candida auris, which is difficult to detect. According to Hayden, its increase during COVID is not a coincidence.

The majority of Candida auris cases are seen in nursing homes. Asking some difficult questions is advised if your loved one is residing in a nursing facility, according to Hayden.

Have there ever been any patients in this nursing home who have Candida auris? If so, what steps are you taking to attempt to stop it from spreading to other patients? Ask, Hayden suggested.

2009 saw the discovery of Japan's first Candida auris case. The first case in the United States was reported in 2013, but it wasn't verified until 2016.

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