Preventing Candida auris Infections in At-Risk Patients
Snigdha Vallabhaneni, MD, MPH, shares actions patients and their visitors can take to protect themselves from Candida auris.
Snigdha Vallabhaneni, MD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist, Mycotic Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shares actions patients and their visitors can take to protect themselves from Candida auris.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“Bloodstream infections with any Candida species are probably the most dangerous, or have the highest mortality; any invasive infection with Candida species can potentially be fatal. Fortunately, for now, Candida auris is an extremely rare infection in the United States. The average person is probably not at risk for Candida auris, because this is really an infection that affects people who are already very sick [and] have been in healthcare settings for a very long time.
Having said that, people would probably have family members, or they [themselves] may also end up in a healthcare setting for a long time, and in that case, really making sure that basic infection control measures are followed [is important]. So, the patients washing their own hands [and] family members washing hands [is] probably the most effective thing that can be done to prevent Candida auris. [Also], making sure that in a very nice way, [patients and families ask their] healthcare provider, ‘Did you wash your hands?’ or ‘Do you mind washing your hands?’ Just making sure that the family members are also vigilant to protect their loved one who’s maybe in a healthcare setting and may be at risk for Candida auris.
But in general, since it’s such a rare infection right now, the general public isn’t really at risk for Candida auris, and we at [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] are working really hard with state and local health departments to coordinate efforts to control and limit the transmission of Candida auris to the places where it currently is so that it doesn’t spread all over the country.”