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29 Dec, 2021 18:23

Rare superbug that poses ‘global threat’ found

More cases of a drug resistant fungal superbug have been discovered, this time in a new US state
Rare superbug that poses ‘global threat’ found

Oregon health officials have announced three cases of Candida auris, a rare fungal infection that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have described as posing a “serious” concern for the world.

Officials confirmed the three cases in Oregon on Tuesday, the first in the state. The original case was discovered on December 11, while the next two were found in the following weeks. The outbreak occurred at Salem Health in Salem, Oregon. 

The first case was detected in a patient with “recent international healthcare exposures,” according to officials. 

Candida auris was first identified in 2009, but did not appear in the US until 2013. The CDC has since found over 1,100 positive clinical cases of the infection, which includes both confirmed and probable cases, according to their website. Texas, New York, Illinois, California, and Florida have all reported the most cases, ranging from 135 to 285.

According to the CDC, Candida auris “presents a serious global threat” and mostly spreads locally through healthcare facilities. It is described as highly transmittable and can cause severe “invasive infections” in 5-10% of those affected. Symptoms can include fever and chills, and the fungus can spread through contaminated areas or via close contact with someone who has it.

Jasmin Chaudhary, medical director of infection prevention at Salem Health, said in the latest announcement that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a “rise in multi-drug resistant organisms” like Candida auris. 

Oregon health officials warned that the infection “particularly” causes serious infections in those who already have “serious medical problems.”