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CDC: C. Auris Fungus a ‘Catastrophic Threat’

A lethal fungus called Candida auris could pose the country’s leading health risk.

In a recent interview with STAT, Anne Schuchat, MD, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called the superbug a “catastrophic threat.”

C. auris was identified eight years ago in Japan and first reported in the United States in November 2016. Some strains of the yeast are resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drugs. As of April 13, 61 infections have been reported across six states and about 60 percent of those infected died, according to CDC. An updated case count will be released monthly.

CDC urges laboratory staff who identify C. auris strains to contact their state or local public health authorities and the CDC at candidaauris@cdc.gov. The CDC published updated guidelines on controlling the fungus in February.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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