Mysterious deadly fungus kills people infected by Covid-19
Florida, Jan 09: A number of Covid-19 infected people admitted at a Florida hospital became additionally infected with a mysterious deadly fungus called Candida auris, according to US government study.
The multidrug-resistant yeast was first identified in Japan in 2009 and has been a top priority for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recent years because of its increasing global spread.
Candida auris is associated with up to 40 percent in-hospital mortality and is usually caught inside healthcare settings, especially when people have feeding or breathing tubes, or catheters placed in large veins.
It causes bloodstream, wound and ear infections and has also been found in urine and respiratory samples, but it's not clear if the fungus actually infects the lung or bladder.
The recent outbreak began in July when a hospital -- which the report did not name -- notified the Florida Department of Health of an initial four cases of the fungus among patients being treated for the coronavirus.
The next month, the hospital carried out additional screening in its Covid-19 unit, which spanned four floors across five wings, and identified 35 more patients as being Candida auris-positive.
Follow-up data was available for only 20 out of the 35 patients.
Eight of these 20 people died, but it was not clear whether the fungus was the main factor or not.
The Florida Department of Health and CDC performed a joint investigation focused on infection prevention and control measures, finding numerous weaknesses.