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'Worrying' fungal infection spreading at alarming rate: 'Almost impossible to eradicate'


A fungal disease has been spreading for years, most recently the cases in the USA have almost doubled. The pathogen is dangerous for several reasons.

A fungal disease has been spreading for years, most recently the cases in the USA have almost doubled.

The pathogen is dangerous for several reasons.

Frankfurt – A fungal infection is spreading at an alarming rate, infections have been increasing sharply since 2021 and have now almost doubled, reports the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in a press release.

According to this, there are said to be almost 1,500 cases in the USA.

However, the pathogen is difficult to detect and treat.

"The rapid increase and geographical spread of cases is worrying and underscores the need for continued surveillance, expanded laboratory capacity, faster diagnostic testing," said CDC epidemiologist Dr.

Megan Lyman.

Fungal infection spreads at an alarming rate – the pathogen is special

The causative agent of the fungal infection is Candida auris.

Although this has only been known since 2009, it has since spread worldwide.

Infection is often manifested by




, the CDC writes on its website.

Candida auris differs from other fungal pathogens by three properties:

  • The pathogen is difficult to identify because it is often confused with other diseases.

    The fungal infection can only be reliably detected by a laboratory test.

  • Candida auris is resistant to most drugs used to treat fungal infections.

    Therefore it is difficult to treat.

  • The infection can be transmitted from patient to patient.

    Contact with patients, as well as with contaminated objects and surfaces, spreads the fungus.

  • Resistant pathogens are a growing problem, and not just for fungi.

    The number of deaths from antibiotic-resistant germs is also increasing at a worrying rate.

    Fungal infection is spreading: "This problem is not going away"

    The fungal infections spread quickly, especially among people with previous illnesses and a weak immune system, for example in hospitals and nursing homes.

    The people there are most at risk from the pathogen and an infection can be fatal for them.

    "Once it's established, say in a nursing home, it's almost impossible to eradicate it," Scott Roberts, an infectious disease specialist at the Yale School of Medicine, told



    “I think this problem will not go away.

    I think it will only get worse over time."

    In October 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) also warned of life-threatening fungal infections, such as the pathogen Candida auris, and classified it as critical.


    Fungal infections caused by the pathogen Candida auris have been spreading rapidly since 2021.

    (icon picture)

    © Nicolas Armer/dpa

    Which measures help against the spread of the fungal infection?

    The measures to protect yourself and others are already known to many from the corona pandemic.

    Above all, you should pay attention to good hygiene.

    This includes regular hand washing for individuals.

    Because the pathogen can persist on surfaces for several weeks, cleanliness is particularly important in healthcare facilities, the CDC says.

    For healthy people, the risk of severe infection is low.

    In Germany, ten cases of infection with Candida auris have been detected so far, the first of which was recorded in 2015, reports the medical journal



    (Kilian Baeuml)

    List of rubrics: © Nicolas Armer/dpa

    Source: merkur

    All news articles on 2023-03-22

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