Calling it “an emerging threat,” the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging healthcare providers in all settings to “act now to better understand, contain, and stop the spread of” infection caused by drug-resistant Candida auris. CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, notes that C auris can be fatal, making the new drug-resistant strain especially concerning. The CDC recently issued its first report of 13 cases in the United States (in New York, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey). Four of the patients died. While labs are directed to report findings of C auris directly to the CDC, physicians should be vigilant for possible cases and refer patients for testing as needed. This concerns the urgent care setting in that some infections caused by C auris could present as garden-variety ear or urinary tract infection. C auris can spread in healthcare facilities, so it may be reasonable to ask patients if they’ve had a recent hospital stay, and to investigate whether that hospital has had any cases that could be attributed to drug-resistant C auris. The CDC recommends that all healthcare professional implement its Standard and Contact Precautions at this time.
Clinicians Take Note: CDC Warns of Deadly Drug-Resistant Candida auris in the U.S.