Have you ever heard of Candida auris? It’s the new name on everyone’s lips — for a good reason! This newly-discovered fungus has been making its way across several continents, leading to serious health issues for many individuals.
But what is Candida auris, exactly? How does it spread, and how can we protect ourselves from infection? This article will explore these questions as we dive into the Candida auris mystery. You’ll also learn about this mysterious fungal infection’s symptoms, treatment, and prevention. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
What Is Candida Auris?
Have you ever heard of Candida auris? It’s a fungus becoming increasingly an issue for medical professionals worldwide. If you’ve been wondering, “What is Candida auris?”, know that it’s a yeast-like organism that can cause serious human infections.
So why is it a cause for concern? It’s estimated that about 40 percent of people who contract Candida auris have the potential to develop life-threatening conditions, including blood infection, pneumonia, and urinary tract infection. Most concerning is that the fungus can resist common antifungal medications, making it even harder to treat.
The fungus is spread primarily through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated surface. If you’ve recently visited a medical facility or high-risk area, you should know the symptoms and how to prevent yourself from contracting the infection.
Symptoms of Candida Auris Infection
Candida auris, or C. auris for short, is a fungal infection that can be serious. While some people may not notice any symptoms, for others, C. auris can cause serious illness—so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms to help catch and treat it as soon as possible.
The most common symptoms of a C. auris infection include the following:
- Fever and chills
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
It’s important to note that these symptoms can range from mild to severe and may occur suddenly or over time. If you experience these signs, contact your doctor immediately for further assessment and testing. Early diagnosis is key for successful treatment, so seek help immediately if you feel ill or suspect you may have been exposed to this infection.
Risk Factors for Developing Candida Auris Infection
You might wonder about your risk factors for developing a Candida auris infection.
The top risk factor is recent hospital stays or living in a long-term care facility. It’s worth mentioning that even if you don’t have any underlying conditions that weaken your immune system, being in a healthcare setting can increase your chances of contracting a C. auris infection.
Age and Health Status
Your age can also influence your risk of getting a candida auris infection. In the US, most cases have been found in adults over the age of 65 who have other serious medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes. People with weakened immune systems–like those undergoing chemotherapy—may also be at more risk for contracting an infection from C. auris than those who don’t have underlying conditions that affect their immunity.
There is some evidence that antibiotic use can increase the likelihood of becoming infected with C. auris, as antibiotics can strike down other beneficial bacteria in our bodies, allowing room for fungal growth and infections to take over.
Research also suggests people may be more likely to get an infection with C. auris if they’re recently coming out of surgery, undergoing dialysis, or receiving treatments where catheters are involved (as this could enable the fungus to enter the bloodstream).
Treatment and Prevention of Candida Auris Infection
Do you know how to treat and prevent a Candida auris infection? It’s essential to be aware of this, as the fungus can spread quickly between individuals in healthcare settings and can be deadly in severe cases.
Treating an infection
Treating a Candida auris infection depends on the severity of the case, the area affected, and which drugs the fungus is resistant to. Treatment may include antifungal medications or antibiotics, depending on the specific case. The person should remain isolated from other patients until treatment is completed. The healthcare facility must ensure that all vulnerable areas—such as bedding, furniture, and medical equipment—are cleaned with effective disinfectants against C.auris.
To prevent a Candida auris infection, good hand hygiene must be practiced at all times, especially when entering and leaving a healthcare facility or hospital room; always wash thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time. Additionally, shower before visiting someone infected with C. auris and avoid contact with their secretions—including saliva, urine, and stool—or contaminated surfaces such as bedding or furniture. Wear protective clothing, such as gloves and gowns, when contacting an infected person or environment.
FAQs About Candida Auris
When it comes to Candida auris, you may have some questions. Let’s clear up some common FAQs about this mysterious fungus.
What is Candida auris?
Candida auris is a type of Candida fungus known to cause bloodstream infections and can spread in healthcare settings. It is often resistant to commonly used antifungal medications, which makes it difficult to treat.
How serious is Candida auris?
Candida auris can be very serious, especially in people with weakened immune systems who are already fighting other illnesses. In addition to being resistant to antifungal medications, C. auris can look like other types of yeast on lab tests that normally distinguish different types of Candida. So, it can be hard to identify and treat the infection.
How do you prevent infection?
The best way to prevent an infection from C. Auris is by following proper hygiene measures, such as:
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer (alcohol-based) with at least 60% alcohol content
Avoiding contact with people who have or are suspected of having C. Auris
Cleaning any surfaces and items that have come into contact with someone who has the condition
When to Seek Medical Attention for a Suspected Candida Auris Infection
If you suspect that you or a loved one might have a Candida auris infection, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Medical professionals must be made aware of the possible presence of the infection so they can take the necessary steps to diagnose and treat it.
When deciding whether to seek medical attention, several signs and symptoms should be taken into account:
- Fever and chills
- Skin rashes
- Shortness of breath
- Other flu-like symptoms such as body aches and pains, congestion, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting
- Nail or toenail fungus
If you experience any combination of these symptoms over an extended period, seeing a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment is important. Catching Candida auris quickly is paramount for effective treatment and prevention of the further spread of the disease.
While there’s still a lot to learn about Candida auris, one thing is certain—being aware of the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments available is important. If you have any questions or concerns about the condition, speak to your doctor, who can provide more information.
Practicing good hygiene and prevention strategies is the best way to prevent Candida auris infections. This includes washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with individuals with the fungus, and maintaining good hygiene in medical and care facilities.
Ultimately, it’s important to take Candida auris seriously and pay attention to the recommended guidelines and precautions to protect yourself and your community against the fungus.