Candida Auris: A Spreading Threat

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, other dangers sometimes seem less threatening or important. The idea of an easily transmissible (and sometimes lethal) virus is so powerful that more localized threats don’t seem to warrant the same kind of urgency. However, this is not the case with the deadly fungus, Candida auris. This fungus is one of the most resilient varieties in the world, able to survive many different chemicals and adapting easily to changes in temperatures that would impede other organisms.

Unfortunately, this resilience allows the fungus to infest indoor environments necessary to humans such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. As the pandemic has progressed and global focus has shifted to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, the fungus has been able to spread quickly through healthcare environments and thrive due to the rise in number of people being hospitalized. It is more likely to affect people with weakened immune systems, which can sometimes occur after an infection with COVID-19, and the effects can be fatal. The exact statistics regarding the danger of contact with the fungus are still unavailable, but some estimates have recorded as high as 50% of infections resulting in death.

The fungus is always evolving to best survive in its current environment, whether that be inside a human body or in a hospital room, and dealing with it is difficult because of how easy it is to misidentify as another fungus. Many experts are concerned about the threat this fungus can pose in the coming months, and more information is being discovered about ways to contain the spread of the fungus even now. With education and the efforts of health organizations, such as the CDC, more effective methods of dealing with this fungus and others like it will be discovered and the threat will become much more manageable.

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