When women get the itchy, can’t-stop-scratching feeling down there due to a yeast infection, they often head to the drug store to pick up some vaginal cream (think Monistat). For some women, there’s no need for a yeast infection cream as the condition resolves itself.
However, what do you do if the yeast infection is far more invasive and doesn’t clear up? It’s a problem many women have after they’ve had surgery and are in the recovery process. The problem is serious – serious enough that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a warning about the rapidly-spreading yeast infection strain that’s highly resistant to drugs.
It’s called the Candida auris, a potentially fatal bacteria that’s been seen in nine countries to date. It can also lead to ear, wound and bloodstream infections. The first case of this infection was found in a Japanese patient who was suffering an ear infection. That was in 2009. Since that time, it’s been seen in the nine countries: Colombia, India, Japan, Kuwait, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom and Venezuela.
As of right now, there has been just one isolated case of Candida auris in the U.S.
Altogether, 30 people have become sick from the infection.
According to various reports, the mortality rate for this the Candida auris strain is about 60 percent. This strain is particularly bad because it’s highly resistant to antifungal medications, which is why health officials are concerned about its possible spread. On top of that, the bacteria is hard to detect in the lab, which means doctors may actually miss the infection altogether.
CDC’s Chief of the Mycotic Disease Branch Tim Chiller said, researchers feel the reason the Candida auris has become some prevalent is the constant use of antifungal medications by patients.
There’s still not a lot of information about Candida auris and the outcomes of patients who’ve had it and been diagnosed with it (a reason is that it can’t be easily detected). For that reason, the CDC has issued an alert to all U.S. healthcare facilities for this infection.