From the Parish Nurse

Article from the Parish Nurse

Dear Church Family,

Have you seen the news reports on Candida Auris? It is a relatively new fungal disease outbreak in the US. 2015 was the year this infection began to gain notice. So far this year, over 6oo cases have been established, and half of those have been in NY State. According to the CDC, “Based on information from a limited number of patients, 30-60% of people with Candida Auris infections have died.”

So what is this, who gets it, and how do you treat it? Candida Auris is a yeast type of fungus. It creates spores, which can last for a long time on the skin or inanimate objects. Researchers think the fungus is passed on by spores transferred from an object or the skin of an infected individual. So far, those infected with Candida Auris are people who have many medical problems and are frequently in the hospital or in a nursing home. People with indwelling tubes in their bodies and who have a weak immune system seem to be most at risk. Treatment consists of a number of antifungal medications. The problem is many people whose blood has become infected have had a strain of the fungus resistant to many of these drugs.

It is yet another reason to practice good hand washing hygiene. So many things are picked up off of door knobs, shopping cart handles, desks, hospital bed side rails, etc.

Candida Auris has been found as an infection of the ears, skin wounds, and blood. Healthy people do not tend to get this infection but can carry it on their skin and pass it on to others (again, hand washing helps break the cycle of transmission). The test for Candida Auris is a skin swab test; a swab is rubbed over the skin in the armpit and groin. The CDC is still researching this fungus.

It seems that people who are already sick and have a weakened immune system are the ones who become very ill from this fungal infection. If you are in the hospital, be sure that those treating you are washing their hands before they touch you and before they leave your room. Nosocomial infections are those infections you did not enter the hospital with! The use of gloves and good handwashing significantly decreases the risk of infections being passed on. Call me with any questions!

God Bless!!! Beth