US sees growing number of C. auris cases: 3 things to know

Since the CDC first warned clinicians in June 2016 about Candida auris — a deadly, drug-resistant yeast spreading around the world — dozens of infections have been reported among United States residents, according to The Washington Post.

C. auris is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs, and some strains are resistant to all three major classes of these medications. The fungus has caused outbreaks in cities like London and has been detected in a number of nations including Japan, Colombia, India, Israel, Kenya and Kuwait.

Here are three things to know about C. auris in the U.S.

1. The CDC announced the first domestic cases of C. auris infections in November 2016. The infected samples were extracted from seven patients between May 2013 and August 2016 in New York, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey. Among the seven patients, four died. The deaths couldn't be directly attributed to the infection because each of the four patients had serious underlying comorbidities.

2. In February, the CDC revised guidelines for controlling C. auris in hospitals and laboratory settings. The agency recommended the use of disinfectant effective against Clostridium difficile when cleaning the rooms of C. auris patients. The CDC previously recommended using disinfectants designed to kill fungi.

3. As of Feb. 16, the CDC identified 35 cases of C. auris across five states: Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Twenty-eight of the cases were detected in New York. The CDC updates this tally monthly.

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