A potentially deadly, drug-resistant fungus is spreading rapidly across the United States, with California recording the second-highest number of cases of any state in the past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC announced Monday that the fungus, called candid auris either C. auris – has been spreading faster and faster since it was first detected in 2016, and the COVID-19 pandemic likely played a role. The agency said the fungus is an “urgent threat” because of its resistance to echinocandins, an antifungal drug used to treat it.
“The rapid increase and geographic spread of cases are concerning and emphasize the need for continued surveillance, expanded laboratory capacity, faster diagnostic testing, and proven infection prevention and control adherence,” said the epidemiologist from CDC, Dr. Meghan Lyman, lead author of a recent study. article published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
In the past 12 months, California has seen 359 clinical cases of the fungus, second only to neighboring Nevada, which had 384 cases, according to the CDC. New York has seen the most cases of the fungus since it was discovered in 2016.
C. auris it has been detected in more than half the states.
While the CDC said that C. auris it is generally not a threat to healthy people, “it can cause serious infections with high mortality rates”.
It mainly spreads within health care facilities that have poor infection prevention and control strategies, the CDC said.
Since the fungus was discovered, a total of 3,270 clinical cases have been recorded. Every year the number has gone up.
The CDC noted that one possible reason for the increase in the number of cases each year is that more people are being tested for C. auris than in the past. The fungus may have started to spread faster during the pandemic, when healthcare facilities were overloaded.