Experts from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention are warning health professionals that a control-resistant yeast strain by the name of Candida auris has been found in a number of healthcare facilities around the world. This invasive yeast infection is resistant to three of the major antifungal drugs including fluconazole, amphotericin B, and caspofungin.
Patients who have had recent surgery, a urinary or venous catheter, or a recent course of antibiotics or antifungals are most at risk. It has been noted that death can occur in 30-50% of infected patients, as Candida auris infects the bloodstream through open wounds, and in addition can also cause ear infections.
Where Has Candida Auris been Detected?
This concerning yeast infection has been detected in nine countries spanning over four continents, so it appears to be quite widespread around the world. It was first discovered in a patient in Japan and one case was detected in the U.S. in 2013.
In further two countries, there has been an outbreak of more than 30 patients in each country and it is believed that the infection may be passed around within a hospital environment. There has been no development in detecting how the infection spreads, but experts are advising health professionals to be extra diligent with infection control procedures and room disinfection.
What Should Health Professionals Do To Help Control This Infection?
It is most important that if a health professional detects a possible case of Candida auris they must report it to state or local public health authorities, as well as to the CDC.
The CDC stresses that not all laboratories are able to correctly identify this particular species of yeast infection and it can be misidentified as a more common strain of Candida haemulonii, or even brewer’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. If this is the case, clinical specimens should be forwarded to the CDC for further investigation.
Anyone who is currently studying to enter a health profession also needs to understand the importance of infection control at hospitals and other health facilities. If for example, you are studying for your online pediatric nurse practitioner degree you may want to learn more about this infection so that you can be well prepared.
Furthermore, if you want to learn how to become a pediatric nurse practitioner and maybe head into the field of research, it’s quite simple to gain the necessary qualifications by studying online.
Final Precautions Health Professionals Should Take
Until more is known about this disease, any patient who is suspected of having Candida auris should be placed in a single room and away from other patients. Healthcare professionals such as nurses and doctors should use Standard and Contact Precautions.
It has been suggested that Candida auris may be able to persist in the environment. Therefore it is extremely important that any healthcare facility that has detected a case of this yeast infection should ensure that thorough daily cleaning and disinfection is carried out. Most importantly, an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant should be used.