Candida auris can cause invasive infections and often does not respond to commonly-used antifungal drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But early detection of patients with C. auris and good infection prevention practices, such as meticulous hand hygiene and environmental disinfection, can prevent its spread.
Should you be anxious?
The emergence of the superbug C. auris is a reminder that other microbes out there can also become resistant to treatments provided by modern medicine.
"C. auris infects individuals who are severely ill and/or have compromised immunity. The reasons for the preponderance of cases in NY are unknown; possibilities include a true higher prevalence from multiple introductions into this global port of entry, more complete detection from aggressive case finding, presence of a large interconnected network of healthcare facilities in NYC, or a combination of all 3 factors", the scientists added.
The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe.
NY has seen more than 300 cases, while there have been 144 cases in IL, most in Chicago.
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He said infected patients do have a high mortality rate, partly due to their existing illnesses, and because the fungus is harder to treat than other fungal infections.
The bug is cause for concern for three reasons: It is resistant to major antifungal medications, easily misidentified using existing laboratory methods and has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings.
"New Zealand microbiologists and infectious disease specialists are aware of this organism and how to diagnose, treat and control it". A delay in a diagnosis can lead to a spread within hospitals.
"They obviously didn't want to lose reputation", Dr. Schelenz said in the report.
Meanwhile, Chicago has confirmed 154 cases of the disease between May 24, 2016, and April 4, 2019, which is an increase of 10 cases from the CDC website that was last updated at the end of February. More recently there has been a similar evolution in fungi. "I don't know that releasing information for specific centers would be necessary to accomplish that goal".
"It's an enormous problem", said Matthew Fisher, a professor of fungal epidemiology at Imperial College London, who was a co-author of a recent scientific review on the rise of resistant fungi.
Healthcare institutions here have measures in place to prevent and control healthcare-related infections, including C. auris, and are required to report any outbreaks, but no outbreak was reported, the spokesman said.
But what exactly is Candida Auris and what are the common signs and symptoms?