There is a deadly fungus that can cause serious infection and kill more people if no cure is discovered fast enough.
A superbug has taken the lives of 4 out of 13 people who have been infected by it. Existing drugs are no match to this deadly yeast which has spread to different countries.
The Candida auris or C. auris is now the subject of studies by scientists who are seeking for clues on how to eradicate it.
Doctors are anxious, saying that the superbug could be a huge problem. They are wary because C. auris is a type of yeast expected to respond to drugs formulated for fungal infections. Unfortunately, they don’t.
In 2009, Japan reported one case of C. auris infection that didn’t respond to antifungal medication. At about the same time, similar cases were also confirmed by hospital physicians from other countries. This year, countries including India, Kuwait, South Africa, and South Korea reported the same fungal infection case among patients. About two-thirds of infected patients across regions have expired.
For the second time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned hospitals in the US on C. auris and its strong resistance to antifungal medications.
In addition, the center disclosed that seven patients who were found to be infected by the fungus were treated in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Maryland hospitals. Four of whom succumbed to the infection. There are no clues yet how the patients got infected but there seems to be a common denominator on a handful of patients – they had, on separate occasions, stayed in the same health care facility.
Unlike other fungal infections where the pathogen originates from the person’s system, this particular fungus comes from contaminated hospital equipment like catheters as well as hospital counters and other exposed surfaces. Also, it has triggered outbreaks.
One of the possible reasons why a cure isn’t readily available is that there are only three types of drugs produced for fungal infections. Moreover, manufacturers do not produce much of these drugs because sales of these aren’t that significant unlike those of antibiotics. In other words, there’s a very thin range of drugs for fungal infections. On the other hand, there’s a wide range of antibiotic drugs in the market.
Since the infection has originated from a hospital environment, the ones who are at high risk of contracting it are hospital patients who are seriously ill and whose immune systems are at its weakest. Patients who are constantly in close contact with health care personnel who may have been infected are also at risk.
So far, one of the best ways to keep at bay is to make sure hospital equipment and premises are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
According to the officials from the center, this is a very grave threat to such patients and for this reason, physicians and experts are bent on seeking for answers and cures before it spreads to more countries.