Untreatable fungus spread in US - GulfToday

Outbreak of 'untreatable superbug' worries US medics

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The fungus, Candida Auris, is a harmful form of yeast that is considered dangerous for patients with serious medical problems.

Gulf Today Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed the outbreak of an untreatable 'superbug' at two hospitals and a nursing home in Dallas and Washington respectively.

A handful of the patients had invasive fungal infections that were impervious to all three major classes of medications.

“This is really the first time we’ve started seeing clustering of resistance” in which patients seemed to be getting the infections from each other, said the CDC’s Dr Meghan Lyman.

The fungus, Candida Auris, is a harmful form of yeast that is considered dangerous for patients with serious medical problems.

It is most deadly when it enters the bloodstream, heart or brain.

Outbreaks in healthcare facilities have been spurred when the fungus spread through patient contact or on contaminated surfaces.

Health officials have sounded alarms for years about the superbug after seeing infections in which commonly used drugs had little effect.

In 2019, doctors diagnosed three cases in New York that were also resistant to a class of drugs, called echinocandins, that were considered a last line of defence.

In Washington, D.C., a cluster of 101 Candida Auris cases at a nursing home dedicated to very sick patients included three that were resistant to all three kinds of antifungal medications.

A cluster of 22 in two Dallas-area hospitals included two with that level of resistance.

Those cases were seen from January to April. Of the five people who were fully resistant to treatment, three died.

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