A new kind of malady has landed in Texas, this time a fungus: According to a release from Collin County Health Care Services, a yeast called candida auris fungus is spreading in two Dallas-area healthcare facilities.
Candida auris causes invasive infections and can be transmitted in healthcare settings. It started to show up in January 2021 and is currently considered untreatable.
Some are calling it a "superbug," because infections have been resistant to anti-fungal medications. Two Collin County area healthcare facilities have seen cases of drug-resistant variants of Candida auris that resulted in four deaths.
Dallas is one of two areas where the fungus is emerging, along with Washington DC, where a longterm care facility for severely ill patients was hit by an outbreak that infected more than 100 people and killed one.
From January to April, 22 cases were reported in Texas, at two acute care hospitals, one long-term and one short-term. Health advisories were sent to hospitals and healthcare facilities in early 2021 as cases were identified.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can spread through patient contact or on contaminated surfaces and is most deadly when it enters the bloodstream, heart, or brain.
It's considered dangerous to hospital and nursing home patients with serious medical problems. However, the general public is not currently at risk, and the CDC is working on controlling its spread.