NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is concern from the Centers for Disease Control following an outbreak of a potentially deadly drug-resistant germ in area hospitals.

More than 300 cases have been reported in New York, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Monday.

Candida auris, a yeast fungus, was only discovered in 2009 but has quickly spread globally.

When it comes to the United States and here in our area, the CDC says New York has 309 confirmed cases, New Jersey has 104 confirmed cases and Connecticut has one.

The CDC says Candida auris is a problem because:

Candida auris, otherwise known as the Superbug fungus. (Photo: CBS2)

* It can cause bloodstream infections, wound infections, ear infections.

* It can kill you.

* It is often resistant to medicines.

* It is becoming more common.

* It’s hard to identify.

* It can spread in hospitals and nursing homes through contact with affected patients and contaminated surfaces or equipment.

Dr. Eric Ascher of Lenox Hill Hospital said all kinds of fungi can be found all over the place.

The CDC says washing your hands is extremely important and is urging healthcare facilities to really clean because the bug can live on surfaces for weeks, CBS2’s Gainer reported.

Ascher said, historically, over-prescribing medications has lead to drug-resistant strains.

“This might be the red flag for physicians and prescribers to change their prescribing patterns in regards to antifunguls in itsentirety,” Ascher said. “A lot of times antibiotics and antifunguls are not necessarily the answer to something that will just take time and go away on its own.”

CBS2 talked with several New Yorkers regarding their medication intake and what they think about over-prescribing.

“I trust my doctors,” another person said.

“I generally try and wait as long as possible, but if it’s recommended, at the end of the day, I’ll go ahead and take it,” added Jason Deutsch of Brooklyn.

Doctors say anyone can contract Candida auris, but that symptoms are hard to detect because it’s often infecting people already sick.

It’s also difficult to identify, and the only way to know for sure if you have it is a specific test done by a specialized laboratory.

The CDC says it’s now alerting healthcare facilities in the United States to be on the lookout for Candida auris in their patients. Researchers say an estimated 162,000 people in this country die from drug-resistant infections every year.

Click here for more information from the CDC.

Comments (4)
  1. Carmen Sepulveda says:

    What poor reporting.

  2. Jessica McEachern says:

    I like how they just mention “New York State” and don’t get specific about where in the state it’s been found. Most of the articles I’ve read about this mention New York City and I believe one case in Rochester. Have more cases been found in other locations of the state? It would be nice if they were just a bit more specific about that.

  3. Mary Power says:

    So wrong! Just saw this on the broadcast at noon. For symptoms log on to our (various). This is unfair to the most at risk group; the elderly…..you now have them worried with only a fraction of the information they need.

    1. It’s so wrong only to the extent that the CDC does not name the institutions and hospitals involved. This, so that for example if someone is planning elective surgery they might think of postponing it or having it done elsewhere,
      We Do need to worry, and to have much more transparency on this issue.
      An excellent article in the New York TImes this weekend on this very topic entitled “”A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy” (which is worth reading and which may have prompted the CDC to issue this alert) describes how it is not ONLY the overuse of certain drugs that causes the problem, but also the fact the overuse of anti-fungal insecticide on our crops causes superbug fungals to be spread in and through our food supply as well.
      We need MUCH more information : who, where, why and how –NOW.

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