The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to track the drug-resistant fungus Candida auris (C. auris) in several states, including Colorado.

First detected in 2016, Candida auris seemed to race across the country in 2020 and 2021, raising concerns as an antimicrobial threat to hospitals and healthcare facilities. Keep reading to learn more about how Candida auris affects the Centennial State and how to protect yourself.

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What Is Candida auris?

Candida auris is a type of yeast that is multi-drug resistant and can cause severe illness in unhealthy patients. Also known as C. auris, the yeast does not respond to antifungal treatments and can be hard to stop once in a hospital or healthcare facility. C. auris causes infections in the bloodstream, open wounds, and ears. A healthy person can get C. auris on their skin and not become sick, but they can still pass the fungus on to others. In most cases, C. auris does not affect most healthy individuals.

Why Are Healthcare Facilities At Risk?

The Denver Gazette reported Candida auris as an "urgent threat" in March of 2023, as the fungus can spread quickly inside a healthcare facility. As the fungus is resistant to antifungal treatments, it can live on surfaces and medical equipment for weeks and continue to infect patients as it spreads around a facility. If you visit a healthcare facility with Candida auris, you'll want to take steps to

Patients in long-term care facilities are at the highest risk for exposure, especially those using a catheter or treatment that includes tubes entering the body.

Protect Against Candida auris

The CDC recommends alcohol-based hand sanitizer as the hand hygiene method for C. auris when your hands are not visibly soiled. Soap and water are necessary if hands are soiled. The CDC says gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene when dealing with C. auris.

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