Healthcare Economy

States Hit by Dangerous Fungus

Candida auris (C. auris) has hit every state in the nation. It is antimicrobial-resistant, which means it guards itself from antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials and anthelmintics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It changes to “dodge” the effectiveness of these drugs. This is why it can be deadly. (Here are dangerous conditions a simple blood test can help detect.)

CDC epidemiologist Dr. Meghan Lyman, commented, “The rapid rise and geographic spread of cases is concerning and emphasizes the need for continued surveillance, expanded lab capacity, quicker diagnostic tests, and adherence to proven infection prevention and control.” It was first reported in 2016 and has spread aggressively since then.

Cases are particularly prevalent in some of America’s largest states. According to the CDC, these include New York, California, Texas, Illinois and Florida. These states have about half the U.S. population. Health care aimed at COVID-19 may be among the reasons for the spread. The medical field may not have paid enough attention. The World Health Organization says containing Candida auris should be a goal in every country.

The media recently has begun to report on Candida auris. USA Today recently reported, “Fungal infections can be life-threatening to those most at risk in hospital settings, including patients who are very sick, have invasive medical devices, or have long or frequent stays in health care facilities.” Put another way, people who are already vulnerable to infection because they are in medical settings are the most likely to be affected.

One question about Candida auris is whether the world is about to trade one massive infectious disease attack for another. COVID-19 has killed over a million Americans. It probably has infected over three-quarters of the U.S. population and has crushed parts of the economy that required a massive government effort to repair. Americans cannot imagine this could happen so fast, but, early on, they did not expect COVID-19 could do such devastating damage.

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