Candida auris fungus poses minimal risk to healthy people, says CNY medical expert

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that antifungal-resistant Candida auris fungus is spreading rapidly across the country.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, Director of Global Health and Chief of Microbiology and Immunology at SUNY Upstate Medical University, said the group of concern are people who have been hospitalized for long periods of time.

“People in skilled nursing homes and long-term care facilities,” Thomas said. “People who have compromised immune systems, or who you know, will end up in the hospital for extended periods of time, with tubes, lines, etc., as part of their treatment. Concerns.”

The fungus can spread from person to person or through contaminated surfaces such as blood pressure cuffs in hospitals.

The CDC said the C. auris fungus is becoming a global health threat due to resistance to antifungal drugs.

“There are still classes of antifungal drugs that can be used to treat patients,” said Thomas. “We are always afraid that we will lose all our tools.”

But healthy people shouldn’t worry too much, says Thomas, because the risk of developing problems is low.

“One of the best things you can do to stay that way is wash your hands regularly. This seems like an easy thing to do, but a lot of people don’t. Here’s how.” We get a lot of infections, not just fungal infections like this.”

Kathy Hochul’s office said as of March 22, there were 72 clinical cases of patients contracting the fungus in New York in 2023.

“Our best tool for dealing with new public health threats is being able to identify them before they start spreading rapidly,” Hochul said in a release. While the reports are alarming, our ability to track these infections leads the nation and we continue to support the proactive actions needed to contain this threat and keep health facilities safe. doing.”

Acting Surgeon General Dr. James McDonald emphasized that the fungus poses little risk to the general public.

“Candida auris It usually infects people who are already sick, but it can be prevented by thorough handwashing, clean surfaces and personal protective equipment,” McDonald said.Identify potential cases and slow the spread of Candida auris.

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