Daily Brief: 2017.3.17

THREAT ANALYSIS

Candida auris infections in the United States

In June 2016, US officials warned about a pathogen known as Candida auris. Since this warning, 35 patients have been diagnosed with the emerging pathogen in the United States. Of the individuals infected, at least 28 were documented in New York. Cases have also been reported in Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. 
(Sources: Tech TimesScience TimesWashington Post)

Candida auris is a type of yeast that can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body causing serious invasive infections. This type of fungal infections does not respond to commonly used antifungal drugs, making it highly resistant and difficult to treat. The fungi has been isolated from respiratory and urine specimens but has proven to have caused bloodstream infections, wound infections, and ear infections. All of these factors have led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conclude that Candida auris presents a serious global health threat. 
(Sources: Science TimesCDC)

Internationally, the fungus has been reported in Japan (where it was first discovered in 2009), the United Kingdom, Venezuela, South Korea, Pakistan, Kuwait, Kenya, Colombia, and Israel.
(Sources: Washington Post)

ACTION STEPS

  1. CDC encourages all U.S. laboratory staff who identify C. auris strains to notify their state or local public health authorities and CDC at candidaauris@cdc.gov. 
  2. In acute-care settings, such as acute-care hospitals, providers should place patients with C. auris infection or colonization in single rooms on Standard and Contact Precautions [PDF - 226 pages].
  3. C. auris can persist on surfaces in healthcare environments. Healthcare facilities that have patients with C. auris infection or colonization should ensure thorough daily and terminal cleaning and disinfection of these patients’ rooms. CDC recommends use of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered hospital-grade disinfectant effective against Clostridium difficile spores.
    (Sources: CDC)
Stefanie SullivanComment