Home Infectious Disease CDC: 13 Cases of Candida auris Identified in the United States

CDC: 13 Cases of Candida auris Identified in the United States

CDC officials say drug-resistant fungal infection tied to four deaths, can be easily misidentified

FRIDAY, Nov. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Thirteen cases of Candida auris, a globally emerging invasive, multidrug-resistant fungus, have been identified in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 13 U.S. cases reported between May 2013 and August 2016, seven are described in the Nov. 4 early-release issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, while the other six remain under investigation.

The seven cases presented in the report occurred in four states: Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. All of the patients had serious underlying medical conditions and had been hospitalized an average of 18 days when diagnosed with C. auris infection. Four patients died, the CDC said, but whether the fungal infection was the direct cause of the deaths remains unclear. Two patients had been treated in the same hospital or long-term care facility and had nearly identical fungal strains.

In June, the CDC issued a clinical alert about the global emergence of C. auris. It requested that laboratories report cases and send patient samples to state and local health departments and the CDC. Without specialized laboratory testing, C. auris infection is easily misidentified as another type of Candida infection, the report noted. This means patients may not receive appropriate treatment. Also, 71 percent of the C. auris strains from U.S. patients had some resistance to antifungal drugs. For now, the CDC recommends vigilant daily and post-discharge disinfection of infected patients’ rooms.

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