Treatment-Resistant Fungal Infection Spreading in New York

Anne Spollen
This is a medical illustration of Candida auris fungal organismsPhoto byMedical Illustrator: Stephanie Rossow

The first case of Candida auris was detected in 2013, and now researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting a surge as reported in the March 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. Candida auris is a yeast that spreads through contact, can remain contagious on surfaces for months, and is difficult to clean, according to lead researcher Dr. Meghan Lyman, a medical officer in the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch. While the yeast is not dangerous to healthy people, C. auris can be life-threatening to the immune-compromised.

C. Auris Statistics

Dangerous infections triggered by C. auris has steadily increased in the United States. 2019 saw a 44 per cent increase in C auris; 2021 showed a 95% increase according to the new new study.

The CDC reports New York state has seen the fourth-highest number of C. auris infections with 326 through Dec. 31, 2022. Only California, Florida and Nevada have seen more. C auris kills more than one in three patients with an invasive C auris infection.

C auris has been found in 28 states and the District of Columbia as of 2021.

There was a 209% increase in cases of healthy people who screened positive with C. auris in 2021, compared with a 21% increase the year before, the researchers found.


Dr. Lyman stated C. auris is increasingly resistant to antifungals. Dr. Lyman added, "The number of resistant cases in the U.S. is still low, but we're seeing an increase and that's definitely concerning to us because the treatment options for those patients would be more limited."

C. auris is easily transmitted through touch, and can spread rapidly through nursing homes, long-term care facilities and hospitals, Dr. Lyman explained.

"It sheds from people into the environment and contaminates surfaces like beds or tables, and also mobile medical equipment that can go from patient to patient or even health care workers," Dr. Lyman said.

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Staten Island-based New York City writer following NY's migrant crisis, urban issues, lifestyle topics, human interest, and wellness. Published novelist and essayist.

Staten Island, NY

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