While Maine & New Hampshire Are Safe (For Now), This Deadly Fungal Infection is in Massachusetts
Candida Auris is a fungal infection that has ravaged other regions of the world and, since about 2013, has had a growing presence in the United States of America.
But, what exactly is C. Auris, and how does it affect people?
According to the Centers For Disease Control,
Candida auris (C. auris) is a type of yeast that can cause severe illness and spreads easily among patients in healthcare facilities. It is often resistant to antifungal treatments, which means that the medications that are designed to kill the fungus and stop infections do not work.
The good news, if there is any, about this particular fungal infection, is that the CDC advises that healthy people are typically not at risk of developing the infection.
What they've found is that people, typically older, and with weakened immune symptoms are the most at risk for contracting candida auris.
Since it's highly resistant to medication that fights it, once it sets in, it can be really hard to fight off.
Some of the symptoms one may experience after contracting the illness include open wounds, ear infections and even infection of the bloodstream, according to the CDC.
Of course, these are serious complications that sometimes prove to be fatal, the CDC reports.
As far as places in the United States that have reported the infection, the CDC reports that 26 states now have candida auris present in some patients.
When it comes to New England, there is only one state that currently has any confirmed cases, and that's Massachusetts.
The Centers For Disease Control uses a color-coded map to break down the number of cases in each state. The darker the shade, the more cases have been reported. However, even though Massachusetts is on the list, there have only been two confirmed cases in the last 12 months, CDC data shows.
And, while two cases seem like a small number, keep in mind that these are just confirmed cases and that the number of actual cases that have gone untested could potentially much higher.
In fact, according to WGBH, Massachusetts had 7 cases of it in 2017.
As far as preventing the spread of the deadly candida auris fungus, the CDC went on to explain in part that,
If a patient is colonized or infected, healthcare providers take special steps to prevent the spread of C. auris, including placing the patient in a room separated from those at risk, cleaning the rooms with special disinfectant products, and wearing gloves and gowns to deliver care.
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