drug-resistant fungal infection

A life-threatening drug-resistant fungal infection is spreading around the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting outbreaks of Candida auris in 12 states. New York, New Jersey and Illinois have been especially hard hit.

Doctors detected the first case of C. auris in Japan a decade ago. No one had paid attention to it before because it wasn’t causing trouble. But once this organism evolved resistance to anti-fungal drugs, it started to overwhelm people with impaired immunity.

Rise of the Drug-Resistant Fungal Infection:

Three years ago, physicians discovered seven cases of C. auris in the U.S. Now, the CDC has confirmed that nearly 600 individuals have been infected with Candida auris (CDC Candida auris, March 29, 2019). Many of these patients had weakened immune systems and were hospitalized. In such individuals who can’t mount a strong immune response, the infection is often lethal.

Are Fungicides to Blame?

Researchers suspect that heavy use of agricultural fungicides may have contributed to the development of drug resistance by C. auris and possibly other fungal infections as well. This parallels the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria such as MRSA that evade common antibiotic treatments.

Worldwide, experts estimate that the annual death toll from such superbugs, including both bacteria and fungus, may be as high as 700,000 people. Just as experts urge responsible stewardship of antibiotics to reduce the chances that bacteria will develop resistance, we may also need to look at restraint in the use of anti-fungal compounds.

Because Candida auris has spread so quickly, we are likely to see more outbreaks in the near future. The fungus puts out numerous spores that can be difficult to eradicate from hospital rooms and equipment. Consequently, healthcare organizations will need to pay even more attention to infection control. Both visitors and staff must scrub their hands thoroughly with old-fashioned soap and water. So far as we know, even a drug-resistant fungal infection can not defend itself against conscientious hand washing.

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  1. Carols
    Plymouth, Ma

    It all makes sense. For some reason they say bird mites pick hosts with a low immune system. When I figured out I had bird mites in my hair due to a tiny piece of a bird’s nest on porch, it was right after I was on antibiotics for 6 months to treat a bad case of Cellulitus in my legs, knocking my immune system down to nil.

  2. Cathy Ann S.
    Norfolk, VA

    I am a MRSA carrier. I also got the flu after having the flu shot. I had to postpone a serious giant hernia surgery because my PCP wanted to get me stronger. I was ok for surgery in May but I don’t know. If I have MRSA off and on do I have a weakened immune system and a chance of getting Candida Auris? I am in Norfolk, VA. Or do I have it and don’t know?

    • Terry Graedon

      They probably will check you for both MRSA and C. auris before surgery.

  3. Sara
    Southwest Florida

    The bottom line in my opinion, is that there is no amount of chemicals that will save us. We have to be healthy so that we can resist infections like this one.

  4. Nancy

    I think medical and dental care personnel have taken the opportunity of wearing gloves to disregard the safety of the patient. I observe that doctors, dentists and health care adjunct staff put on those plastic gloves and then pick up all sorts of implements and unsterilized equipment and then put them down without regard to cleanliness. The gloves protect the wearer, not the patient!

    Once I observed a nurse pulling an IV stand through a pre-surgery room with the needle dragging on the floor. The second time I observed that occurrence, the needle was destined for my arm in an emergency room. I jumped all over the nurse and demanded different equipment, saying, “No wonder there are so many incurable bacteria in hospitals”. Yes, the needles were covered with plastic, but the nurses’ glove-covered hands had to touch that plastic to get to the needles.

  5. Francine
    Brossard Quebec Canada

    My husband died three years ago of a fungal infection which they could not cure. They tried so many different antibiotics but did not help. Twenty-five days of being in hospital he passed away. We were married 43 years.

    Francine Rance 😪😪

  6. Peggy
    San Diego, CA

    I appreciate the old-fashioned handwashing also, but if I was getting something on my skin somewhere I would try tea tree oil. Has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial (including MRSA), anti-itch properties. If you have not used it before, you might want to test a small spot on your inner arm 24hrs 1st. And use a fairly new bottle if possible. Some people may be allergic.
    For sensitive skin, it can be diluted up to 10x (with coconut oil, jojoba oil, witch hazel, or if not worried about acne then olive oil). Should be stored only in dark glass bottles.

  7. Nancy

    Is this Candida related to the Candida that SIBO stems from?

  8. ken

    I just wonder if anyone has tested colloidal silver against this fungus?

  9. jw

    Is this infection seen as resperatory,or, skin\ mucous membranes. How is it diagnosed and what symtoms to be aware of to be concerned about.

  10. Judi
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    I wonder if apple cider vinegar would kill this fungus.

  11. Gayle
    Columbia sc

    I remember when I would see my internest, The first thing he would do when walking into the exam room was wash his hands. Now they all head for the hand dispenser of that clear goop. Wish they would go back to hand washing!

  12. Tom M

    If this was the measles, they would be calling this a pandemic or some such thing. There is no Big Pharma cure for this nor does the usual antiseptic chemicals eradicate this fungus. It’s kind of scary.

  13. Dagny
    Philadelphia, PA

    Thank you for this article. I’ve read about this infection at other sources and so many of them seem to be not only sensationalized, but unhelpful. This is the first one that’s made it clear that the people in danger are those with compromised auto immune systems, that hospitals are the most likely place to catch it, and that old fashioned hand washing is an effective preventative.

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