CDC Warns About Rare Superbug that Poses ‘Global Threat’

Oregon officials confirmed on Tuesday three cases of the rare fungal infection Candida auris that has been described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as posing a serious threat for the world.

The outbreak, the first in the state, has been started by a patient with recent international healthcare exposures, whose case was discovered at Salem Health in Salem, Oregon on December 11 followed by another two in the following weeks.

Though it’s not clear which Salem Health’s units are impacted by the outbreak, the hospital and OHA have been notifying health care facilities that had received transfer patients from the “affected units”.

Since the infection’s first appearing in the US in 2013, Candida auris, often multidrug-resistant yeast infection first identified in 2009, has been found over in 1,100 clinical cases – which include both confirmed and probable cases- documented by the CDC.

According to the CDC website, most cases – ranging from 135 to 285 – have been reported in Texas, New York, Illinois, California, and Florida.

CDC warns that highly transmittable Candida auris, whose symptoms include fever and chills, presents a serious global threat and mostly spreads locally through healthcare facilities via contaminated areas or close contact with someone who has it.

However, the risk of infection with the superbug to health care workers and otherwise healthy people is extremely low.

Oregon health officials warned that it particularly causes serious infections, like bloodstream and wound infections, in patient who already deals with serious medical problems, and can cause severe invasive infections in 5-10% of those affected.

According to CDC data, around 30-60% of the patients who have contracted C. auris infections have died.

Salem Health’s medical director of infection prevention Jasmin Chaudhary stressed that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a rise in multi-drug resistant organisms like Candida auris.

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