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Largest US Concentration of New Superbug Found in New York

January 16, 2020

Candida auris, or C. auris, a species of fungus first described in 2009, is one of the five superbugs on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urgent threat list. The largest concentration of this superbug in the country—427 of 911 confirmed cases—has been found in New York, according to the CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

C. auris can enter the blood stream and cause serious infections. And it’s becoming more dangerous. Three of the C. auris cases reported in New York are pan-resistant, which means they can withstand all three classes of antifungal drugs used to treat the infection. Investigators with the New York State Department of Health say although these pan-resistant strains of the fungus still appear to be rare, their emergence is concerning.

The three patients who contracted pan-resistant C. auris have all died, but the extent to which the fungus contributed to their death is unknown. Patients A and B were both older than 50, suffered from multiple health conditions, and were residents of long-term care facilities. Patient C died from underlying medical conditions. 

According to the CDC, on average someone in the United States gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds and someone dies from an antibiotic-resistant infection every 15 minutes.

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