New York health officials won't disclose facilities hit by deadly superbug
Cultured C. auris in a petri dish. Some strains of it are resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drugs. Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A deadly drug-resistant fungus is spreading in hospitals and nursing homes throughout New York City and its suburbs, threatening the lives of those with weakened immune systems. But so far, health officials are refusing to identify the affected facilities.
"It's a very serious health threat," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, Columbia University professor and an expert on public health policy. "It's a superbug, meaning resistant to all-known antibiotics."
It is known as Candida auris, and it is lethal for some patients with existing medical problems .
"These people would be in danger, so you don't want somebody visiting the hospital not knowing that it's around and somehow contracting the infection," Dr. Redlener said. "That would be an utter disaster."
The state Department of Health says there is no risk to the general public and notes that the vast majority of patients have had serious underlying medical conditions.
The numbers underscore the growing health threat. Since first surfacing in 2016, Candida auris has stricken 613 people nationwide.
3. Novel antifungal shows early promise against Candida auris