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March 22, 2023

A Deadly Fungus That Kills 30% to 60% of Those It Infects, and Which Is Also Highly Resistant to Current Drugs, Is Spreading Rapidly In Health Care Facilities

So... I'm actually at a health care facility right now as I publish this. (I wrote it advance knowing I'd be out of my home office during the day.)

So obviously I'm going to come down with this.

Cases of a deadly fungus have tripled in the U.S. from 2019 to 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Candida aurist was reported in the U.S. in 2016 and cases have climbed ever since. Annual clinical case counts rose to 476 in 2019 before increasing to 756 in 2020, a 59% jump. Cases then soared to 1,471 in 2021, which is an additional 95% jump.

Colonization screening of cases also increased, researchers from the CDC wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine. There were 1,310 cases in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019, and a 209% increase to 4,041 cases in 2021.

There were a total of 3,270 clinical cases and 7,413 screening cases of C. auris from 2019 to 2021, with 17 states reporting their initial cases.

Cases of a deadly fungus in the U.S. have tripled from 2019 to 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors from the CDC wrote that, since its detection in the U.S., C. auris "has continued to cause illness and death nationwide." They also said the CDC has rated it as "an 'urgent threat,' the highest level of concern, because it is often multidrug-resistant; spreads easily in healthcare facilities; and can cause severe, invasive infections with high mortality rates."

Treatment-resistant cases rose from six pan-resistant and three echinocandin-resistant isolates reported in 2020 to seven pan-resistant and 19 echinocandin-resistant isolates in 2021.

"Even this subtle increase is concerning because echinocandins are the first-line therapy for invasive Candida infections and most C. auris infections," the authors wrote. "Several new antifungal medications are in development, but more research is needed to understand outcomes for patients with these highly resistant strains and to guide treatment."

One of the authors, Meghan Lyman, wrote in a press release that "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."

The CDC's 2019 Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report identified C. auris as an urgent threat in the U.S.

Dr. Siegel explains below that candida auris is, unfortunately for the elderly and immunocompromised, especially dangerous to those who are already weakened. Most healthy people will fight it off.

But the fungus is spreading rapidly, and is only one bad mutation away from becoming a much more serious threat.

Fortunately there's no one in the entire world who would perform gain-of-function research on candida auris to make it into a deadly worldwide pandemic.

This just in: Yes there is.

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posted by Ace at 03:30 PM

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