Cases of dangerous fungus tripled in US over last 3 years

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:57 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Superbug fungus cases have rose drastically in the US during the pandemic, with more than half of all state having reporting it, a CDC study shows.

According to the CDC, Superbug fungus, or Candida auris, is “an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat”. The CDC gives three main reasons why this is a concern:

  • It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections. Some strains are resistant to all three available classes of antifungals.
  • It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
  • It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.

Experts believe that, because the COVID-19 pandemic strained hospital workers, it likely led to less disinfecting for other germs. The fungus is not typically harmful to healthy people, but can be deadly for those with lower immune systems. It can spread easily and infect wounds. Some strains become superbugs because they are resistant to antibiotic drugs used to treat fungal infections.

The CDC is reporting that Ohio is among some of the worst states for cases. C. auris cases are now at 79, which puts the state in the top ten for cases.