In May 2018 an old man was admitted in Mount Sinai Hospital, Brooklyn branch for abdominal surgery. Upon testing it was revealed that he had been infected with a deadly, mysterious germ that had just been discovered and he was isolated in the ICU- Intensive Care Unit.
This germ, Candida auris preys on people with a weak immune system, and is gradually spreading across the globe. In the past 5 years, an ICU unit was shut down at the British Medical Center, swept through a Spanish hospital, and a neonatal unit in Venezuela was hit and crept in to South Africa and Pakistan.
Candida auris has forced the US federal centers for disease control to label it as an “urgent threat” after it hit New Jersey, Illinois and New York.
The elderly man at Mount Sinai hospital passed away after 90 days without the c.auris germs being treated or isolated. Tests showed that his room was full of germs and the room needed special cleaning which involved taking apart floor tiles and the roofing ceiling to get rid of c.auris. There was no part of the room and equipment found in it that had not been contaminated and Dr. Scott Lorin says the special cleaning equipment used was effective.
C.auris is termed very dangerous because it is resistant to major antifungal treatments making it one of the world’s top untraceable threats in healthcare and in the wake of drug resistant diseases. Public health specialists for the longest time have condemned overuse of antibiotics because they reduce drug-effectiveness once they are commonly used especially those that have a long life span of curing bacterial infections. Lately there has been an increase in in resistant fungal infections as well; which is an additional frightening factor to preexisting phenomenon that already undermines the modern medicine pillar.
A fungal epidemiology professor at Imperial College Matthew Fisher said it is an enormous problem because most infections are treated using antifungals. Their ability to evolve to an extent of surviving modern medicine puts the science of medicine at a rather sharp edge.
As the world leaders put emphasis of restraining prescription of antimicrobial drugs for fungal and bacterial treatment, it was conveyed in the 2016 UN General Assembly that there is overuse in farming clinics and hospitals and named it an emerging crisis.
Resistant germs are referred to as ‘superbugs’ typically don’t always kill everyone. They are harsh and lethal to people with a weak or compromised immune system without a specific criteria. It could be smokers, newborns, elderly people, diabetics and people suffering from autoimmune disorders who subject their bodies to steroids that as a result suppress the body’s immune system. Essentially, for the immune resistant germ to affect a body to a point of death, the body’s defenses must be down.
- Candida auris: an Emerging Fungal Pathogen.
- SartelliMassimo, et al. “The Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance in Managing Intra-Abdominal Infections.” Surgical Infections, vol. 16, no. 3, 2015, pp. 213–220.
- Herzog, Torsten, et al. “Bacteribilia with Resistant Microorganisms after Preoperative Biliary Drainage – the Influence of Bacteria on Postoperative Outcome.” Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 47, no. 7, 2012, pp. 827–835.