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Fungal Infections Increase in Nevada Due to Drug-Resistant Strains

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, March 24, 2023 6:29 pm

NEVADA – Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown a surge in fungal infections caused by drug-resistant strains in Nevada over the past two years. The CDC report, released on Monday, highlights Candida auris as a concerning emerging fungus that has become resistant to treatment and has spread rapidly throughout the state.

Dr. Meghan Lyman, an epidemiologist at the CDC and the lead author of the report, emphasized the need for continuous surveillance, expanded lab capacity, quicker diagnostic tests, and proven infection prevention and control to tackle the alarming rise of cases. Nevada is one of six states, including California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida, that have seen a significant increase in the number of cases.

The infection usually affects those already sick with other conditions, and symptoms include fever and chills that do not improve after antibiotic treatment for a suspected bacterial infection, according to the CDC. Only a lab test can diagnose a Candida auris infection.

Candida auris was first reported in 2016, and since then, the fungus has spread rapidly across the United States. As of December 31, 2021, a total of 3,270 clinical cases and 7,413 screening cases have been reported. Clinical cases have increased each year since 2016, with the most significant rise occurring during 2020-2021.

The CDC has reported a continued increase in case counts for 2022, and between 2019 and 2021, 17 states identified their first case of C. auris. The number of clinical cases rose from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021 nationwide. Screening cases tripled from 2020 to 2021, totaling 4,041. The CDC warns that the emergence of drug-resistant fungal infections is a serious public health concern that requires immediate attention.

Credits: Fox 5 Vegas

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