‘Deadly Drug Resistant’ Superbug Swiftly Spreading in New York
A "deadly drug resistant" superbug is swiftly spreading through New York.
Candida Auris, also known as C. Auris, is a fungus that causes serious, “superbug” infections. The fungus, first discovered in 2009, has infected people in over a dozen countries, including the U.S. where it's spreading the fastest in New York.
There are 613 reported cases in the U.S. as of March 31, 2019. 319 of those are in New York, twice as many as Illinois, with the second most at 156.
Strains of C. auris in the U.S. have been linked to other parts of the world. Introduction into the United States comes from a patient who received healthcare in a country where C. auris has been reported or a result of local spread after such an introduction.
The CDC says Candida auris presents a serious global health threat.
*It causes serious bloodstream infections and even death, particularly in hospital and nursing home patients with medical problems. More than 1 in 3 patients with invasive C. auris infection die. It's resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
*It's difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and can be misidentified in labs without specific technology.
*It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare a public health emergency. "They should deliver a new raid of resources to stop this superbug from spreading even more across New York, Long Island and Upstate," Schumer said in a statement. "They can do it by qualifying ‘superbugs’ for official emergency response funding, adding the category to the federal eligibility list. We have done this successfully for Zika, Ebola, H1N1, the list goes on."