The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe, the New York Times reports. In the United States, 587 cases of people having contracted C. auris have been reported, concentrated with 309 in New York, 104 in New Jersey and 144 in Illinois, according to the C.D.C. who has deemed the fungus an “urgent threat.”
The CDC considers C. auris to be an emerging pathogen that is invasive and multiple drug-resistant in contrast to other fungal diseases and is usually associated with outbreaks in health-care settings like hospitals.
OUR FREE OPINION
Dr. Meis, a Dutch researcher, said he believed that drug-resistant fungi were developing thanks to heavy use of fungicides on crops. Common antifungal treatments sprayed and otherwise used on crops worldwide, have killed fungus, but those fungis that survived developed a resistance to the treatment. Hospitals and the government have kept these developments out of the press to suppress panic and to protect hospitals from losing money.
Even “the C.D.C., under its agreement with states, is not allowed to make public the location or name of hospitals involved in outbreaks. State governments have in many cases declined to share information beyond acknowledging that they have had cases publicly.
This is about money. Hospitals, grain companies, and producers of anti-fungus products need to be more transparent and step up to the plate with scientific research money specific to this world-wide and dangerous problem.