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Cases of deadly fungus more than doubled in Ohio in the span of a year

In a new report, the CDC says Candida auris spread at a concerning rate in healthcare facilities across the country from 2021–2022.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Candida auris is an emerging fungus that, according to the Ohio Department of Health, is often multidrug-resistant to multiple drugs commonly used to treat infections.

According to ODH, it can spread in healthcare facilities and people with weakened immune systems tend to be at the highest risk.

The first clinical case of Candida auris was identified in Ohio in 2020. In 2021 there were 31 cases and in 2022 there were 79 cases. The CDC is tracking cases nationwide, here

The Ohio Department of Health also tracks where it's been found in the state, however, the data has not been updated since November. 

Columbus Public Health confirms it is aware of one case from late February of this year. Franklin County Public health confirmed Thursday there are no current cases.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins, said this fungus spreads in hospital and nursing home settings.

"When you think about from an infectious disease policy standpoint the concern is very high because this is a fungus that's emerging, that's hard to treat, that's praying on people who are very debilitated. But when you think about it in terms of the risks to the general public, does it pose the same risk say for example as influenza or COVID-19, no it doesn't,” said Dr. Adalja. “But it is something that's really important that we get a handle on."

Screenings are underway to prevent outbreaks in high-risk settings.

“This is something that can be done to identify it quickly in a facility and then take action to try and prevent it from causing true infections in people,” said Dr. Adalja.

Below is the full interview with Dr. Amesh Adalja.

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