The deadly yeast fungus is spreading
For doctors and researchers, the spread of Candida auris is a growing challenge. More and more cases of infection are reported worldwide. In the US alone, over 600 people have already been infected. Many deaths have already been registered. For whom and why this yeast fungus is dangerous to health, we will explain in the following article.
In autumn 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported for the first time a new fungal disease that is in some cases fatal. Candida auris has therefore been associated with several deaths in the United States. The fungus was first detected in 2009 in a patient in Japan as the cause of otomycosis (fungal disease of the external auditory canal). But it is now uncontrollable in many other countries. According to the CDC, it is now a "serious global health threat".
Infection can be life-threatening
Many microorganisms live on the skin, including yeasts. Candida fungi can be detected in about 75 percent of people.
With a healthy immune system, yeast fungi are not usually a problem on skin and mucous membranes.
They live on the skin without noticing it. And even if they lead to skin yeast infections, simple home remedies for Candida can often help.
However, when the new Candida auris enters the bloodstream, an infection that often occurs in hospitals and other health facilities can be life-threatening.
Nearly 600 diseases in the US
Ever since the fungus was first identified, there were at least 587 diseases in the US, according to CBS News.
According to "CBS New York". Last year, an elderly man died of sponge surgery in Mount Sinai, New York.
Yeasts are said to have caused disease in more than 20 countries.
Increased attention without unnecessary fear
"Candida auris can get into the bloodstream of infected people and cause sepsis, the so-called blood poisoning," said Professor Oliver Kurzai in a statement from the University of Würzburg, which holds medical microbiology and mycology.
He also leads the National Reference Center of Invasive Fungal Infections (NRZMyk) in Jena.
Professor Kurzai is one of the authors of an expert opinion from Germany and Austria, where attention is paid to Candida auris, but is also warned of unnecessary alarm.
Hard to identify
However, according to CDC, Candida auris is a "serious global health threat."
This is justified by the fact that the fungus is difficult to identify during routine routine examinations and difficult to treat due to extensive resistance.
It is also dangerous because it came mainly to the outbreaks of medical facilities.
Candida auris inhabits ears and respiratory tract, but can also cause severe infections in the blood or wounds.
Experts fear that there is no yeast drug yet. "It's a huge problem," said Matthew Fisher of Imperial College London opposite The New York Times.
"We rely on being able to treat these patients with antifungals," said a co-author of a study on increasing fungi.
People with weakened immune systems are at risk
According to health experts, Candida auris is a deadly danger to people with weakened immune systems, diabetics or premature births – these groups often suffer from multiple organ failure after infection.
Based on relatively few cases so far, the CDC has found that about 40 to 60 percent of Candida auris infected patients have died.
As a rule, however, it is not possible to tell exactly whether the fungus was really the cause because it was in any case a seriously ill patient.
"For a healthy person, Candida auris is not a threat," said Professor Kurzai. (Ad)