Urgent warning as cases of deadly fungus surge sparking Last Of Us fears | The Sun

A DEADLY drug resistant fungus is spreading at an alarming rate prompting fears of a 'silent pandemic'.

The rare bug, which preys on older people with weakened immune systems, is recognised as a serious global health threat as it resists treatment by common antifungal medications.

Researchers from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that Candida auris (C. auris ) infections have increased dramatically in the US in recent years.

The number of infections in the US surged by 95 per cent between 2020 and 2021, scientists said.

According to the research paper, published in the Annals of Medicine, the deadly fungus has been detected in more than half of all US states.

Dr Meghan Lyman, chief medical officer of the CDC's mycotic diseases branch, told Sky News that the increases, "especially in the most recent years, are really concerning to us".

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"We've seen increases not just in areas of ongoing transmission, but also in new areas," she said.

Dr Meghan said she was concerned about the increasing number of fungus samples resistant to the common treatments for it.

Previously, health experts have dubbed the rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) a 'silent pandemic'.

In 2019, 1.27million deaths were the direct result of AMR — meaning that drug-resistant infections killed more people than HIV/AIDS (864,000 deaths) or malaria (643,000 deaths).

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Speaking at a United Nations dialogue on AMR in 2021, the former health secretary, Matt Hancock, said: "The silent pandemic of AMR could have consequences far more deadly than Covid.

"In my view, it’s an existential threat as great as climate change."

What is Candida auris?

Candida auris is a fungus that, when it gets into the bloodstream, can cause dangerous infections that can be life-threatening.

It's not a threat to healthy people, but can be deadly for those with weak immune systems, especially those who are already sick, the elderly and newborns.

And about one-third of people who become sick with C. auris die.

It was first identified in a patient in Japan in 2009.

Experts have this year warned the killer fungal infection – that is immune to drugs – is sweeping the globe.

C.auris can be resitent to the major anitfungal drugs, meaning it could be fatal in some cases.

In 2019, the Government issued a warning to hospitals advising them to be aware of this new strain.

To prevent an outbreak, measures include screening and isolating infected patients, enhanced hand hygiene procedures, and cleaning of affected clinical areas.

Scientists are worried that not enough is being invested in research into fungal illnesses in the UK – despite them playing a part in thousands of deaths a year and despite the limited drugs available at present.

Source: WHO

What are the symptoms of C. auris?

Doctors often find the symptoms of a C. auris infection challenging to identify because they usually occur in people who are already ill.

Signs of the disease can vary according to where C. auris is in the body.

It can develop in a variety of places, including in an open wound, the bloodstream, or the ear.

But a common symptom includes a fever or chill that wont subside – even after a person has taken antibiotics.

Early diagnosis is vital as C. auris infections can be life threatening.

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