Health officials find first cases of new superbug in US

A strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at CDC.  (Shawn Lockhart, CDC)

Just five months after federal health officials asked hospitals and physicians to be on the lookout for an often-fatal, antibiotic-resistant fungus called Candida auris, 13 cases have been reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday. It is the first time that the fungus, which is easily misidentified in lab tests as a more common candida yeast infection, has been found in the US, and four of the first seven patients with it have died.

We need to act now to better understand, contain and stop the spread of this drug-resistant fungus, the CDCs director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, said in a statement. This is an emerging threat, and we need to protect vulnerable patients and others.

C. auriss emergence and apparent global spread  it was first identified in Japan in 2009 and since then has been found in a dozen countries on four continents put the pathogen on the ever-growing list of superbugs, disease-causing microbes that are resistant to many and, in some cases, all antibiotics.

Read more: Loopholes on animal antibiotics may undermine battle against superbugs

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