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Home / Health / Deadly new fungal superbug is worrying doctors – here's what you need to know

Deadly new fungal superbug is worrying doctors – here's what you need to know



Months after health officials in New York, New Jersey and Illinois raise concerns about a new deadly fungal superbug, a study has suggested climate change may be a role in its troubling rise.

"Candida auris fungus" (C auris) is a multi-drug-resistant fungal infection that is widely tolerated in hospitals and is extremely deadly.

<p mBio – are blaming climate change The researchers said: "global warming has played a "pivotal role" in the infection's rise, citing the fungus's ability to "grow at higher temperatures." "data-reactid =" 24 "type =" text "> While there are likely many reasons that the infection has now spread to 30 countries, authors of the mBio – are blaming climate change. The researchers global warming has played a "pivotal role" in the infection's rise, citing the fungus's ability to "grow at higher temperatures."

"What this study suggests is the beginning of fungi adapting to higher temperatures, and "Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology chair at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said.

Asists continue to unpack what's fueling the rise of this infection.

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The infection started in Japan.

C. auris was originally discovered in a Japanese man with an ear infection in 2009. It first appeared in the U.S. in 2013, specifically in a series of patients at a New Jersey hospital. Since then, the CDC has tracked over 700 cases nationwide.

Symptoms are difficult to pinpoint.

According to a CDC fact sheet, the fungus can cause "bloodstream infections" and is often spread in nursing home patients. Symptoms are contingent on which part of the body has become infected with the disease, but can include chills and fever. A laboratory test is needed to confirm that it is present at which point treatment (often with multiple anti-fungal medications) begins.

Hospital patients and the elderly are at risk.

<p content The CDC notes that "those who are in the same condition as those in the hospital, elderly people and those who use them." "Healthy people usually do not get C. auris infections." "Data-reactid =" 32 "type =" text "> Like other drug-resistant infections such as C.difficle, C. auris poses are already compromised – such as those in the hospital, elderly people and those who use breathing tubes. The CDC notes that "healthy people do not usually get C. auris infections. "

New York has the highest cases, likely due to travel.

In an email to Yahoo Lifestyle, Michael Phillips, MD, chief epidemiologists and associate professor of infectious diseases at NYU Langone Health, says that C. auris is "following the same pattern" as another drug-resistant bacteria, one which started in New York and then spread nationwide. It may not be technically a "superbug."

The Mayo Clinic defines superbugs as "strains of bacteria that are resistant to the majority." auris as one, Phillips does not agree agree. "In the hype, I would not call C auris a superbug," says Phillips.

In an editorial for the Harvard Medical School in May, Robert H. Shmerling, MD,

said that while C. auris is a dangerous infection, panic among the general population is not warranted. "Fortunately, Candida auris has not spread to wide swaths of the population, and healthy people are developing the infection," he writes. "When it comes to infectious disease, it's never time to panic. Instead, you will be able to take care of yourself, receiving all your vaccinations and avoiding people who are contagious.

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