Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Candida Auris - The Deadly Yeast Infection

Most women — and some men — are familiar with yeast infections. While they are no doubt an uncomfortable nuisance, they are rarely dangerous.

However, a new strain of drug-resistant and fatal yeast infections, known as Candida auris has recently been reported spreading throughout the globe. Not only is it resistant to medications, it’s also highly fatal.

C. auris infections are typically found in the urinary and respiratory tract. In addition, rather than irritating the skin, these infections can lead to serious blood and wound infections.

So far, the strain has been identified in nine countries throughout four continents: Japan, South Korea, India, South Africa, Kuwait, Colombia, Venezuela, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.

Without a way to combat this new strain of yeast, the death toll has been alarmingly high — 60 percent of patients with the infection have died already, The Washington Post reported. Additionally, at least two countries have reported outbreaks of C. auris infections involving more than 30 patients.

Yeast infections typically develop from antibiotic use — which inadvertently kills immune cells that control yeast populations — as well as from pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, and taking oral contraceptives.

Officials have reported that C. auris is mainly being contracted in long-stay hospitals, where patients risk infection from contact with contaminated surfaces and equipment.  The CDC says that properly cleaning equipment and accurately reporting cases of the infection are the first step to controlling C. auris.

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