WASHINGTON (WCMH) — The number of cases of a dangerous fungal infection have grown exponentially over the past 9 months, according to a field report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report issued Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CNN reports that the fungus Candida auris can cause severe illness, especially among high-risk patients. This includes people in intensive care units, people with a central venous catheter and people who have received antibiotics or antifungal medications.
A total of 77 cases were reported in hospitals in 7 different states. An additional 45 cases were identified after the patients’ close contacts were screened, CNN reports. That brings the total to 122 patients in the USA with the infection as of May 12.
Sharon Tsay, lead author and an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at the CDC, told CNN none of the infections reported in the United States are resistant to available antifungals.
“It seems to affect the sickest of the sick patients, particularly those in hospitals and nursing homes with other medical problems,” Tsay said.
The CDC issued its first alert in June of last year, telling hospitals to be aware of C. auris based on reports of infections spreading through health care facilities around the world.