‘Worrying’ Deadly Fungus Spreading at Alarming Rate in US | US News


A drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus is spreading rapidly through US healthcare facilities, according to a government study.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the fungus, a type of yeast called Candida auris, or C. auris, can cause serious illness in people with compromised immune systems.

The number of people diagnosed, as well as the number of screened carriers of C. auris has risen alarmingly since the fungus was first reported in the United States in 2016.

A strain of Candida auris grown in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019

The fungus was identified in Asia in 2009, but scientists have said that C. auris first appeared around the world about a decade earlier.

dr Meghan Lyman, CDC’s chief medical officer for fungal diseases, said the increases, “especially in the last few years, are really worrying for us.”

“We’ve seen increases not only in areas with ongoing transmission, but also in new areas,” she said.

dr Lyman also said she’s concerned about the increasing number of fungal specimens that are resistant to common treatments.

dr Waleed Javaid, epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York, said the fungus was “of concern.”

“But we don’t want people who saw ‘The Last Of Us’ to think that we’re all going to die,” said Dr. Javaid.

“This is an infection that occurs in extremely sick individuals who usually have many other problems.”

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The fungus, found on the skin and throughout the body, poses no threat to healthy people.

But about a third of people who get C. auris die.

The fungus has been detected in more than half of all US states. The number of infections in the US increased by 95% between 2020 and 2021.

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Fungal infections have “increased significantly” during the COVID pandemic.

The new research comes as Mississippi faces a growing outbreak of the fungus.

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Since November, 12 people in the state have become infected with four “potentially associated deaths,” according to the state health department.

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