Candida Auris: Mysterious Fungus infecting Covid-19 patients
A Florida hospital recently reported that nearly 40 Covid-19 patients were infected due to a mysterious deadly fungus called “Candida Auris”. These patients were treated for the coronavirus disease in July 2019. As per the report of Centres for Disease Control and Preventions 8 of the 20 people, for which reports were available with the hospital, died. of these 20 people died. However, whether fungus was the main factor or not is still unclear.
Candida Auris (C. Auris)
It is a species of fungus that grows as yeast. It belongs to genus Candida which cause candidiasis in humans. The Candidiasis is acquired in hospitals by patients having weakened immune systems. The Candida Auris can cause invasive candidiasis which infects the bloodstream, the central nervous system, and internal organs. It is a multiple drug resistance yeast. The treatment for this is also complicated since it is misidentified as other Candida species. It has the ability to colonise patients asymptomatically and persist on surfaces.
- C. Auris was first described in the year 2009.
- It was then isolated from the ear canal of a 70-year-old Japanese woman.
- Later in 2011, South Korea witnessed its first cases of disease-causing C. Auris.
- This further spread across Asia and Europe and then it was first witnessed in the U.S. in the year 2013.
Impact of C. Auris
This infection is associated with 40% in-hospital mortality. The infection is usually caught inside healthcare settings. It is caught especially when people have feeding or breathing tubes. It is also caused when catheters are placed in large veins. This fungal infection causes bloodstream, wound and ear infections. It has also been found in urine and respiratory samples. However, there is no clear evidences of whether it infects the lung or bladder.