CDC Calls for Action on Fungal Infection Threat

"It appears that C. auris arrived in the United States only in the past few years," said Dr. Tom Chiller, M.D., MPH, chief of CDC's Mycotic Diseases Branch. "We're working hard with partners to better understand this fungus and how it spreads so we can improve infection control recommendations and help protect people."

CDC has identified 13 cases of Candida auris, the first to be identified in the United States, describing it as a serious and sometimes fatal fungal infection that is emerging globally. Seven of the cases occurred between May 2013 and August 2016 and are described in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, while the others were identified after the period covered by the report and remain under investigation.

According to the agency, C. auris is often resistant to antifungal drugs and tends to occur in hospitalized patients. CDC issued a clinical alert in June 2016 that describes the global emergence of C. auris and requesting that laboratories report C. auris cases and send patient samples to state and local health departments and to CDC. Several cases are now being investigated, and CDC expects to continue to investigate possible cases as awareness of the emerging infection increases.

"We need to act now to better understand, contain, and stop the spread of this drug-resistant fungus," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH, said. "This is an emerging threat, and we need to protect vulnerable patients and others."

The seven earlier cases were reported in four states: New York, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey. All of those patients had serious underlying medical conditions and had been hospitalized an average of 18 days when C. auris was identified. Four of the patients died, but it is not clear whether the deaths were associated with C. auris infection or underlying health conditions, CDC reported.

Two of the patients had been treated in the same hospital or long-term-care facility and had nearly identical fungal strains, which suggests C. auris could be spread in health care settings.

"It appears that C. auris arrived in the United States only in the past few years," said Dr. Tom Chiller, M.D., MPH, chief of CDC's Mycotic Diseases Branch. "We're working hard with partners to better understand this fungus and how it spreads so we can improve infection control recommendations and help protect people."

The agency recommends that health care professionals implement strict Standard and Contact Precautions to control the spread of C. auris. Facilities should conduct thorough daily and after-discharge cleaning of rooms of C. auris patients with an EPA-registered disinfectant active against fungi, and all cases should be reported to CDC and state and local health departments.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/candida-auris.html.

Download Center

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Incident Investigations Guide

    If your organization has experienced an incident resulting in a fatality, injury, illness, environmental exposure, property damage, or even a quality issue, it’s important to perform an incident investigation to determine how this happened and learn what you can do to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of performing an incident investigation.

  • Lone Worker Guide

    Lone workers exist in every industry and include individuals such as contractors, self-employed people, and those who work off-site or outside normal hours. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies, inadequate rest and breaks, physical violence, and more. To learn more about lone worker risks and solutions, download this informative guide.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Download the guide to learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • The Basics of Incident Investigations Webinar

    Without a proper incident investigation, it becomes difficult to take preventative measures and implement corrective actions. Watch this on-demand webinar for a step-by-step process of a basic incident investigation, how to document your incident investigation findings and analyze incident data, and more. 

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2022

    November December 2022

    Featuring:

    • IH: GAS DETECTION
      The Evolution of Gas Detection
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Enhance Your Fall Protection Program with Technology
    • 90TH ANNIVERSARY
      The Future: How Safety WIll Continue to Evolve
    View This Issue