"Rise Of Deadly Fungus Spotlights Hospital Infection-Control Challenges"

"A deadly fungus spreading at an alarming rate in U.S. health facilities has exposed the broader problem of how patient safety is jeopardized by underfunded and understaffed infection-prevention efforts, experts say.

On any given day, 1 in 31 hospital patients and 1 in 43 nursing home residents has an infection acquired while seeking medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Candida auris, the fungus spreading primarily in long-term acute-care hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities, is considered a serious global public health threat because it can be difficult to detect and resists some antifungal drugs and disinfectants.

It’s just one of the infections acquired in health-care settings that are ripe for transmission because patients are on invasive devices and are susceptible to infections healthy people do not contract. There’s a wide range of other pathogens — from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to E. coli bacteria that cause urinary tract infections — that are more rampant."

Fenit Nirappil and Dan Keating report for the Washington Post March 21, 2023.

Source: Washington Post, 03/22/2023