Superbugs are a terrifying prospect because of their resistance to treatment, and one superbug that is sweeping all over the world is the Candida auris.
C. auris is a fungus that causes serious infections in various parts of the body, including the bloodstream and the ear.
While its discovery has been relatively recent in 2009, this fungus has already wreaked havoc in hospitals in more than 20 different countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Spain, among others.
In the United States, CDC reports a total of 587 clinical cases of C. auris infections as of February. Most of it occurred in the areas of New York City, New Jersey, and Chicago.
Since C. auris are particularly damaging to individuals whose immune systems are already compromised, hospitals are especially vulnerable. Many hospitals around the globe have already experienced outbreaks.
Signs, Symptoms Of Superbug
C. auris is challenging to identify, but the most common symptoms are a fever and chills. In particular, it's a possibility if these conditions don't improve upon taking antibiotic treatment for a bacterial infection.
According to the CDC, some of the symptoms may not be noticeable because plenty of patients who are found with a C. auris infection is already sick with another type of illness.
Symptoms also depend highly on the body part that the infection is affecting.
Due to the difficulty in recognizing this particular condition, individuals who suspect they're carrying a fungal infection are strongly encouraged to visit a doctor immediately. Ultimately, only a laboratory test can confirm a C. auris infection.
Why Is C. Auris So Deadly?
More than one out of three patients with invasive C. auris infection die, so it's a dangerous superbug.
First, it's drug-resistant to many common anti-fungal medicine, with most strains resistant to at least one of the three types of fungal treatment. Certain strains are resistant to all three types of medicine used to treat fungal infections.
C. auris is also difficult to identify with infections often getting misdiagnosed as other kinds of fungal infections. Specialized laboratory tests is used to correctly recognize the fungi as C. auris.
Most importantly, C. auris is extremely tenacious and capable of persisting on the skin or on various surfaces for a very long time.
"C. auris can spread between patients in healthcare facilities and cause outbreaks. In this way, it appears to behave much like some multidrug-resistant bacteria,'' CDC expert Tom Chiller tells USA Today. He adds that this particular fungus can survive on surfaces for one month or even longer.