What is Candida auris? Symptoms of alarming fungus in the US explained

Filiz Mustafa

CDC has issued a warning about an alarming and emerging fungus in the United States – what is Candida auris and its symptoms?

On Monday (March 20, 2023), the CDC released a press release addressing the increasing threat of the disease at healthcare facilities in the US.

According to the federal agency, the disease is considered a public health threat because it spread at an “alarming rate” during the pandemic.

We learn more about Candida auris and the symptoms related to the disease.

candida auris
Photo by: BSIP/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What is Candida auris and its symptoms?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Candida auris (C. auris) is a fungus antimicrobial resistance threat that spread at an alarming rate at US healthcare facilities between 2020 and 2021.

“Equally concerning was a tripling in 2021 of the number of cases that were resistant to echinocandins, the antifungal medicine most recommended for treatment of C. auris infections,” CDC explains in a media release.

The disease is not a threat to healthy people but rather to older people who have underlying medical conditions or have had recent and frequent stays at hospitals.

Some of the main symptoms of the disease include fever and chills, while it can also cause wound and ear infections, CDC has explained.

“It also has been isolated from respiratory and urine specimens, but it is unclear if it causes infections in the lung or bladder,” the federal agency has added.

CDC issues warning

The CDC called Candida auris an “urgent threat” to the public because it’s resistant to antifungal medicine and easily spreads through healthcare facilities.

“The rapid rise and geographic spread of cases is concerning and emphasizes the need for continued surveillance, expanded lab capacity, quicker diagnostic tests, and adherence to proven infection prevention and control,” said CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the paper Dr. Meghan Lyman.

More about the disease

The disease was first detected in 2016. Between 2016 and December 2021, there were 3,270 clinical cases in which infection was present in patients.

Moreover, there were 7,413 screening cases in which the fungus was detected in patients but there was no reported infection.

Clinical cases rose from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021. Screening cases tripled from 2020 to 2021, for a total of 4,041

Related Topics