Considering Candida Auris Outbreak Behavior

The emergence of this fungal infection remains mysterious as the world experiences more outbreaks.

With the different modes of transmission and the variability in their incidence rates, infectious disease outbreaks can be difficult to manage once they appear.

The introduction of COVID-19 reaffirmed how quickly an infectious disease can take hold and how dangerous a viral pathogen can be to a larger, global population.

Ebola, on the other hand, has had very bad regional outbreaks in various countries within Africa. And while its mode of transmission is different (through body fluids), the fear it could spread to other areas in the world remains intense due to the disease’s harmful effects and potential mortality. Ebola’s mortality rate is around 50% according to the World Health Organization, but there is also great variability with rates ranging from 25% to 90% from past individual outbreaks.

Candida auris is a mysterious fungal infection and not much is fully known for why outbreaks appear. It remains highly contagious in health care settings and is often multidrug resistant. Similar to Ebola, the mortality rates for C auris vary greatly according to Jeffrey Rybak, PharmD, PhD, instructor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Outside of a smattering of cases in Europe and the US, Ebola outbreaks have remained on the African continent. Conversely, C auris has had outbreaks in several continents occurring simultaneously, according to Rybak.

In the second installment of an interview with Contagion, Rybak discusses outbreaks across different geographic locations including one where there was a high incidence rate of COVID-19, C auris mortality rates, and whether it has enough durability that will provide it with a sense of permanency and therefore remain a concern in public health for years to come.