A recent arrival to the U.S. has the nation’s hospitals on alert. Candida auris is a deadly drug-resistant fungus that has been linked to four patient deaths in U.S. hospitals since its arrival in the country just a few years ago.
The Centers for Disease Control has detailed seven cases in New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Maryland. All affected patients had serious underlying medical conditions. According to the CDC, “We need to act now to better understand, contain and stop the spread of this drug-resistant fungus.” Scientists are challenged here on two fronts: identification requires special laboratory testing, and over 70% of the samples have proven drug resistant. The CDC recommends hospitals thoroughly clean and treat rooms where affected patients have stayed and been treated.