New York Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the Federal Government to declare a public health emergency. The calls come over deadly superbug Candida auris, a superbug fungus which is killing people nationwide.
A declaration of a public health emergency would immediately free up millions of dollars for treatment and prevention. It would also fund critical research into developing new treatments for this drug-resistant superbug. Senator Schumer referenced other public health emergencies like the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The Federal government spent 165 million dollars on efforts to stop that outbreak.
We first covered Candida auris last month when the Candida threat emerged. The concern has only continued to grow since then. C. auris has struck especially hard in the local area, with 70% of all the cases identified nationwide occurring in New York or New Jersey. Cases of Candida auris in New Jersey have quadrupled over the past year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), C. auris is an especially difficult fungus. It takes specialized lab equipment to identify. It’s also frequently resistant to anti-fungal drugs making it harder to combat even when correctly identified. It lingers on surfaces, and can travel on equipment from room to room. Alarmingly, quaternary ammonium compounds used in normal cleaning protocols may be ineffective against Candida auris. Information on UV light treatment methods is limited.
Right now, the CDC recommends using cleaners on EPA list K. For more of the superbug’s history and approved cleaning/prevention techniques visit our previous blog post: Deadly Candida Auris Deemed Global Threat.
Infection Control Technologies, (ICT) a division of Insurance Restoration Specialists, Inc. (IRS) is one of the nation’s leading Building Hygiene contractors. ICT provides Facility Hygiene Services and Emergency Decontamination for some of the nation’s most respected real estate and Risk Management Professionals, Health Care, Municipalities, Institutions, Food Safety, Transportation, and government organizations.