What is Candida auris?
Candida auris (C. auris), a type of yeast, is an emerging fungus that can cause infections anywhere in the body but most worrisome are the severe invasive infections such as bloodstream. It was first identified in Japan in 2009, and infections have now been reported on every continent, including in North America and the United States.2
What are the symptoms of a Candida auris infection?
Candida auris infection symptoms can vary greatly and are associated with the infected body site. Patients at highest risk of an invasive Candida infections are usually already ill from other medical conditions or have spent time in a high-risk environment such as a nursing home, making them more vulnerable. The most common symptoms of invasive Candida infection are fever and chills that do not improve after antibiotic treatment for a suspected bacterial infection.1
How does Candida auris spread?
While more research is still needed to further study how it spreads, C. auris has caused outbreaks within healthcare facilities via person-to-person contact and through contaminated surfaces or equipment. Effective cleaning and disinfection protocols are essential in preventing the spread of C. auris because the fungus can live on surfaces for several weeks.1
Why is Candida auris a concern?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers Candida auris an urgent threat. The CDC is concerned about C. auris because, like other “superbugs,” it is often multi-drug resistant, it is difficult to identify with standard laboratory tests, and it has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings.3
Candida auris Infection Control Measures
- Conduct surveillance for new C. auris cases and outbreaks.4
- Place C. auris patients in single-patient rooms with dedicated medical equipment and implement standard and contact precautions.
- Emphasize adherence to hand hygiene protocols.
- Clean and disinfect patient care environments and reusable equipment (daily and terminal cleaning) with CDC-recommended products.
- Screen contacts of newly identified case patients to identify C. auris colonization.
- Prior to transfer, inform receiving facilities of patients with C. auris. The CDC Inter-Facility Infection Control Transfer Form is one tool you can use to record transfer of patients with a C. auris infection.5