A fungus that has been discovered in hospitals around the world is starting to pose some concern for health agencies after hundreds of patients have fallen ill. This deadly drug-resistant fungus, Candida auris, is a concern as it's often hard to treat and is commonly resistant to anti-fungal medication. Now, the Health Agency of Canada is warning that this fungus has been spotted in some Canadian hospitals. To combat this, infection-control measures have now been implemented throughout hospitals to prevent outbreaks.
Candida auris has led to hospital outbreaks around the world, including England, Spain, and America. According to Global News a recent outbreak in Spain left 140 patients infected during the first 10 months. Out of these 140 people, 17 ended up dying from the infection. America has also seen 617 cases of this fungus spread as of March 29, 2019.
Now, the National Microbiology Lab run by the Public Health Agency of Canada has reported that there have been 19 cases of Candida auris within the nation so far, fortunately, though, no big hospital-wide outbreak has been recorded yet.
One main concern with Candida auris is that it can be easily transported between patients. In many hospitals, it has been reported that patients contracted the fungus after using temperature probes and blood pressure cuffs that an infected patient had previously used.
Another main concern is that Candida auris is hard to treat as it is often completely resistant to the three antifungal medications that are used. On top of that, the fungus is also known to linger within areas for long periods of time.
Once the fungus is contracted, it can lead to an invasive blood infection that even with treatment, can be deadly.
However, even though Amirta Bharat from the National Microbiology lab states that it is extremely concerning that the fungus can be drug-resistance, she states that Canada is handling the situation well.
So far, Canada has been able to limit the number of cases that have been discovered and prevent hospital outbreaks that other countries have had issues with.
Bharat told Global News that due to the awareness of the fungus, Canadian hospitals have been able to start infection-control measures that will help to prevent majour outbreaks from happening.
So far, the Canadian cases of Candida auris have been treatable, but only with one of the three anti-fungal drugs available.
Source: Global News