Health Care

Drug-resistant superbug an emerging threat in NYC

Drug-resistant superbug an emerging threat in NYC”

A risky, emerging fungus that is resistant to antifungal drugs is becoming an increasing health concern around the world.

CBS New York reports an elderly man died from the fungus a year ago at Mount Sinai Hospital following abdominal surgery.

Candida auris targets people with weakened immune systems.

Worldwide cases of an infection known as Candida auris have become an "urgent threat", unveiling the dangers of drug-resistant germs for both bacteria and fungi from a cloud of secrecy over fear of public hysteria, The New York Times reported.

Healthy people with immune systems in top shape are believed to be in very low risk of getting an infection, according to Forbes.

The hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it as everything in the room was positive.

In the USA, patients in IL and New Jersey have also been reported, as well as others in NY. What makes his case so frightening is that after his death, doctors tested his room and discovered the fungus was everywhere.

"Everything was positive - the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump", said Dr Scott Lorin, the hospital's president.

The Brooklyn patient died 90 days after being admitted to hospital, but the Candida Auris did not disappear.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, 90 per cent of Candida auris infections are resistant to at least one such antifungal drug, while 30 per cent are resistant to two or more major drugs.

Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and IL, leading the federal Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed "urgent threats". The journal Mycoses reported that 41 of the patients who were infected died within 30 days.

Reports of C. auris have come from Venezuela, Spain, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, and South Africa, according to the Times. Fifty-one percent of those infected were male, and all patients had "serious concurrent medical conditions", such as needing "mechanical ventilation or central venous catheters or gastrostomy tubes".

In a recent feature on the spread of the fungus, the New York Times reported that some of the symptoms of C. auris include fever and chills. Such over-prescribing has reduced the effectiveness of the drugs, allowing once curable bacterial infections to thrive once again. "This is a huge problem", said Professor Matthew Fisher, an expert on fungal epidemiology at Imperial College London, who recently published a study on resistant outbreaks of fungi.

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