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United Kingdom Medicine United States Science

Deadly Drug-Resistant Fungus Sparks Outbreaks In UK (arstechnica.com) 146

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: More than 200 patients in more than 55 UK hospitals were discovered by healthcare workers to be infected or colonized by the multi-drug resistant fungus Candida auris, a globally emerging yeast pathogen that has experts nervous. Three of the hospitals experienced large outbreaks, which as of Monday were all declared officially over by health authorities there. No deaths have been reported since the fungus was first detected in the country in 2013, but 27 affected patients have developed blood infections, which can be life-threatening. And about a quarter of the more than 200 cases were clinical infections. Officials in the UK aimed to assuage fear of the fungus and assure patients that hospitals were safe. "Our enhanced surveillance shows a low risk to patients in healthcare settings. Most cases detected have not shown symptoms or developed an infection as a result of the fungus," Dr Colin Brown, of Public Health England's national infection service, told the BBC.

Yet, public health experts are uneasy about the rapid emergence and level of drug resistance the pathogen is showing. In a surveillance update in July, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that C. auris "presents a serious global health threat." It was first identified in the ear of a patient in Japan in 2009. Since then, it has spread swiftly, showing up in more than a dozen countries, including the U.S., according to the CDC. So far, health officials have reported around 100 infections in nine U.S. states and more than 100 other cases where the fungus was detected but wasn't causing an infection.

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Deadly Drug-Resistant Fungus Sparks Outbreaks In UK

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  • Hopefully Mulley and Sculder are all over it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    People will freak out thanks to the internet and media FUD over something they won't get.

    I'm waiting for west nile to return. Maybe in 20 years.

  • I admit I'm a little confused. I'm getting mixed messages from this. Is the fungal infection deadly, or have there been no deaths from it. I admit I haven't read the source yet but it's sounding to me that it's not deadly and rather the concern is only the fact it's drug resistant.
    • by chuckugly ( 2030942 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @11:53PM (#55031803)
      I suppose you're one of those people who think words mean things.
    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @02:19AM (#55032237)

      It's a drug resistant variant of a deadly fungus we've seen before. There have been no deaths from this outbreak, but that doesn't change that the fungus is deadly.

      At some point in every Ebola outbreak, there are sick people but no deaths. We still know that Ebola is deadly at that time.

      • by Whibla ( 210729 )

        It's a drug resistant variant of a deadly fungus we've seen before. There have been no deaths from this outbreak, but that doesn't change that the fungus is deadly.

        Yikes, you mean this [goodreads.com] is actually prescient fiction?

        Good book, haven't seen the film.

      • but that doesn't change that the fungus is deadly

        C. auris is "deadly" in the same way doctors in a hospital are "deadly": if you are sick and in a hospital, there is a significant chance that they will kill you.

        But calling it "deadly" without qualification makes it sound like it's a significant threat to the population at large, and it is not.

        Stay out of hospitals and you won't get C. auris.

      • Yes, but I doubt that Ebola took 4 years to cause a single death. The fungal infection was discovered in 2013, if it were to be as deadly as the title makes it sound then I'd expect to have seen something by now.
    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      I admit I'm a little confused. I'm getting mixed messages from this. Is the fungal infection deadly, or have there been no deaths from it. I admit I haven't read the source yet but it's sounding to me that it's not deadly and rather the concern is only the fact it's drug resistant.

      Candida kills 12–24,000 people annually in the United States, officially. Unofficially, the number is almost certainly much higher, because most Candida deaths occur in the elderly and go unreported as "old age" or "natural

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        The vast majority of deaths reported in the US are heart disease or cancer. This includes the elderly. Nobody wants to put the real cause of death on a death certificate because of legal liability issues.

        Yes. Really.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:12AM (#55031861)

    More than 200 patients in more than 55 UK hospitals were discovered by healthcare workers to be infected or colonized by the multi-drug resistant fungus Candida auris,

    Should we blame the government, or blame society? Should we blame the images on TV?

    No! Blame Candida... blame Candida..

  • It can clean out dreaded gut infections. Look up best anti-fungal foods on the net.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @02:04AM (#55032193)

    The good news is that we've finally halted global warming! The bad news is that the Earth now hungers for the flesh of man. :-/

  • I got a fungus that only a new drug could kill about 8 years ago. Even with the new drug it took over three years to completely kill it.

    It just wasn't worth the risk of going to a health club and using their wet areas any more.

    Smaller clubs have fewer members, dryer equipment, and are under $15 a month.

    But it still worries me how resistant the stuff was.

  • The top google ranked page - https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/dis... [cdc.gov] - says: ".... Based on information from a limited number of patients, 30–60% of people with C. auris infections have died. However, many of these people had other serious illnesses that also increased their risk of death..."
  • Hasn't killed anyone yet.

  • by Aaden42 ( 198257 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @09:39AM (#55033585) Homepage

    HUNGRIES!

    All the Gifts... [wikipedia.org]

  • This started happening over a year ago, affecting the brains of a significant percentage of the British population, including most of its politicians.
  • IIRC, Candida blood infection means the thing managed to grow mycelium inside blood vessels. I am not sure wether a patient is supposed to recover from that if antibiotics are of no help.

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