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First cases of Candida auris reported in United States

Jan
18

Date: January 18th, 2017

Of all the 13 cases, 7 happened between May 2013 and August 2016 and their details have been outlined in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that was first published on November 4th. The other six cases are still under investigation because their discovery happened after the report was taken online.

The CDC released a clinical alert to U.S. health care facilities in June and stated that the C. auris had emerged globally. The alert went to request that laboratories to notify the state and local health departments. Ever since the alert, the CDC has collaborated with various state and local health departments to carry out C. auris investigations.
CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in November 4 that “We need to act now to better understand, contain and stop the spread of this drug-resistant fungus.” He went on to explain that the new trend is threatening and that we need to keep safe all the patients and those not yet affected.

A look back into the emerging global threat

The first time the C. auris was described was in 2009 after it was isolated from external ear canal discharge of a Japanese patient. Since then, more cases have emerged in a number of countries, some touching on bloodstream infections. Some of the affected countries are Kenya, Israel, India, South Korea, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and Colombia.
Four states – New Jersey, New York, Illinois and Maryland were involved in the 7 described cases. Each of these patients suffered from serious medical condition and each one of them had been in the hospital for more than 18 days when C. auris was isolated. The death of four patients could not be directly referenced to C. auris infection or was as a result of their medical condition.
In other two unlinked occurrences, two patients treated in the same hospital showed signs of identical fungal strains. In the first occurrence, two Illinois patients admitted in the hospital at three different times and on different floors were involved. None of their admission dates overlapped.
During the second instance, Maryland and New Jersey patients were involved. The Maryland patient was a New Jersey resident and both of them had been admitted in the hospital simultaneously.
The CDC explained the findings saying that C. auris had the potential of spreading within the care units.

What should healthcare professionals do?

In order to help fight the spread of the C. auris infection, the CDC has a number of recommendations for the health care professionals.
The body released a statement advising that “Facilities should conduct thorough daily and after-discharge cleaning of rooms of C. auris patients with an (Environmental Protection Agency)-registered disinfectant active against fungi… Any cases of C. auris should be reported to the CDC and state and local health departments. The CDC can assist in identifying this particular type of Candida if needed.”

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