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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of August 13, 2017


#1: Candida Auris: The Rise of a New Fungal Threat

C. auris is known to have a virulence profile more similar to C. albicans than other nonalbicans Candida species, and has been associated with multiple cases of fungemia and other invasive fungal infections. Acquisition appears to be largely health care-acquired in nature. More specifically, one report of 41 patients with C. auris infection showed that the median time between admission and first isolation was 19 days. Of these 41 patients, 73% had central venous catheters, 61% had urinary catheters, 51% had received some form of surgery within 90 days of diagnosis with C. auris infection, and 41% had received antifungal therapy within 90 days of diagnosis of C. auris infection.

Further illustration of this organism’s ability to be spread patient-to-patient is demonstrated by the asymptomatic colonization of close contacts of those with active infection. Three hundred and ninety close contacts of the first 77 infected patients in the United States were screened for C. auris colonization using axillary and groin swabs. Forty-five of these individuals (12%) were found to be colonized with the organism. Additionally, patients with a previous infection may remained colonized with this organism for weeks to months after treatment of the acute infection.6 Even more troubling, C. auris appears to survive on surfaces within an infected patient’s hospital environment. The organism has been isolated from beds, windowsills, chairs, infusion pumps, and other various surfaces in the rooms of patients with active infections. These factors likely contribute to the potential for patient-to-patient spread in a healthcare environment, which raises major concern given the observed mortality rate of roughly 60% in patients infected with C. auris

Continue reading about this new fungal threat, here.
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Influenza A (H3N2) has caused most of the illnesses in this severe flu season, but influenza B is becoming increasingly responsible for more infections as the flu season continues to hit the United States.