CASE Candida auris yeast infection has been on the rise in the United States recently.

The number of cases is also increasing progressively, no doubt making the US public health sector worried about fungal infections which are said to be often resistant to these antibiotic treatments.

To date, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 2,000 cases of Candida Auris infection have been confirmed. Not surprisingly, the current situation is already an emergency. As a precaution, it’s good to know important facts and things about Candida Auris yeast infection. Compiled from Reuters, the official website of the CDC and Prevention, Monday (27/3/2023), consider the following six important facts.

1. Dominating people with certain health conditions: Revealed by an infectious disease expert, dr. Amesh A. Adalja, MD, most cases of this type of yeast infection are experienced by people who are already sick, such as cancer patients, patients in the ICU, and elderly people in nursing homes.

“This is not an infection that hits people suddenly,” says Dr. Amesh who is also a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

2. Thousands of cases: Referring to the official website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), quoted by Reuters, on March 24 confirmed cases of fungal infection had touched 2,377.

From the reports of the researchers who reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, over time, cases have continued to increase. In 2019 it increased 44 percent to 476 cases, then jumped 59 percent to 756 in 2020 and shot up to 95 percent to 1,471 cases during the 2021 pandemic.

3. Effect of the pandemic: The CDC calls the outbreak of cases of Candida Auris yeast infection as one of the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. “CDC noted the spread of these infections in 2021, possibly exacerbated by health care system difficulties related to the pandemic, such as shortages of medical staff and equipment,” the CDC said in a statement.

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4. Resistant to antibiotics: Professor of molecular biology at the University of Plymouth, UK, Dr. Tina Joshi, said this fungal infection should not be underestimated, because this infection is usually quite serious. This is because this type of fungus is often resistant to common medications, which can make the infection difficult to treat.

“The biggest problem with this fungus is its resistance to the drugs we have,” said Dr. Tina, quoted from the BBC.

(Photo: Reuters)

5. Difficult to detect by lab tests: Further notes from the CDC say, so far it is still difficult for doctors to state (in terms of death cases) whether the patient really died from a fungal infection, or the underlying disease conditions.

Therefore, the condition is a bit complicated considering that infected people usually have other underlying diseases. It is difficult to recognize it directly from the symptoms, so far the way to find out is only laboratory tests can diagnose C. auris infection.

6. Difficult to treat: The CDC says some C. auris infections are resistant to all three main classes of antifungal drugs available in the US, which is why cases of Candida yeast infections are difficult to treat. Even now, as revealed by Dr. Amesh, there are new antifungal drugs under development that could work against C. auris infections, but at this point they are not ready.

Fortunately, according to Thomas Russo, MD, professor and chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo in New York, echinocandin drugs are still effective against most infections from these strains.

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