Hundreds of cases of drug-resistant superbug reported in NYC

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Hundreds of cases of drug-resistant superbug reported in NYC

Business Insider has contacted the CDC Institute of Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology and Health Promotion Board for comment.

The CDC reported the first seven cases of candida auris in the United States in August 2016. It can kill a person in as quick as 90 days.

The CDC has recorded 587 cases in the United States, with 309 of those cases in New York, primarily concentrated in the New York City area.

The Center for Disease Control reports almost half of patients who contract Candida auris die, and the fungi spreads very easily and can take over a hospital room, leading some hospitals to keep the outbreak quiet to avoid public hysteria, according to the report.

Candida auris is a fungus that is getting health experts nervous not only because it's drug-resistant, but also because it is fast-acting.

The symptoms are similar to flu-like conditions - fever, aches, and fatigue - and the "superbugs" resistant to medicine are most problematic for people, fatal even, with weak immune systems, particularly newborns, the elderly, and diabetics, according to the report. You can find more information here. In fact, candida auris outbreaks have been reported in hospitals and healthcare centres around the world.

Most fungal and bacterial infections can be stopped using drugs. "It is also critical that healthcare systems are optimized to prevent the spread of Candida auris". But with drug-resistant fungi and bacteria, their genes evolve so quickly that the treatment meant to target them proves ineffective and allows the risky disease to spread.

"We don't know what to look out for", he told TNP, and added that this makes infection control more hard.

Prof Tambyah said: "Efforts are being taken by agencies such as the US CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) and the UK's Health Protection Agency and many other worldwide and local professional bodies, including those in Singapore, to detect these infections and make sure they do not spread to vulnerable patients".

Doctors and researchers are still unsure what causes drug-resistant diseases, but they do know there are different strains of candida auris in different parts of the world, causing them to believe the fungus didn't come from a single place, The New York Times reported.

As pesticides, antifungals, and antibiotics continue to be heavily used on crops and in livestock, it's possible that the fungi and bacteria they're targeting learn how to evolve to stay alive in spite of the treatments.

"So far, most of the cases have occurred in patients with weakened immune systems such as very low birthweight premature infants, the elderly who have had complicated surgery, or patients undergoing chemotherapy", he told The New Paper, adding that there is nearly no chance of it becoming a Sars-type epidemic.

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