CDC says nearly 600 cases of deadly drug-resistant fungus reported

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed hundreds of cases of a deadly multidrug-resistant fungus nationwide.

The CDC has confirmed 587 cases of the fungus, Candida auris, in 12 states over the past few years, most of them in Chicago, New Jersey and the New York City area. The fungus is a yeast infection with a one-in-three mortality rate in cases where the infection reaches the heart, blood or brain, according to the CDC.

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The disease, which spreads through medical facilities, was first discovered in 2009 in Japan and was first reported in the United States after mid-2015, according to UPI.

It is known to be resistant to at least one class of antifungal drugs, and one-third of the strains are resistant to two classes of antifungal drugs. And some strains are resistant to all three classes, according to the publication.

The Department of Health for New York has recorded at least 309 cases of the fungus where the patient fell ill as of March 18, as well as another 429 where patients carried the disease without becoming infected.

In New York, cases of the fungus are predominantly hospital patients and nursing home residents in the New York City area, according to the state health department.

Chicago, meanwhile, has confirmed 154 cases between May 24, 2016, and April 4, 2019. New Jersey has logged 132 cases and 22 more probable cases over a four-year period, according to the New Jersey Record.

"We're seeing it in hospitals — we have a problem obviously in New York and New Jersey, but we see it in Spain, the United Kingdom, South Africa, other places. How do you explain how this has happened all at once?" David Perlin, chief scientific officer of the new Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation, told the Record.