Superbug fungus spreads in two cities, CDC warns

  • Health authorities are warning of a ‘superbug’ fungus spreading in two cities in the United States.
  • The ‘superbug’ fungus has been detected in areas of Washington and Texas.
  • Experts indicated that there is no cure for the ‘superbug’ fungus they are investigating.

A ‘superbug’ fungus, with no apparent cure so far, is spreading in two hospitals and a nursing home, US health officials warned Thursday when reporting localized evidence.

Outbreaks of “superbugs,” strains resistant to most antibiotics and regular treatments, were reported in a nursing home in Washington, DC and in two Dallas-area hospitals, in Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Diseases (CDC in English), reported ABC News and The Sun.

Antibiotic resistant ‘superbug’ fungus

A handful of patients had invasive fungal infections that were immune to all three main classes of drugs or antibiotics, ABC News noted in its report on the “superbug” fungus.

“This is really the first time we’ve started to see resistance clusters” in which patients seemed to contract infections with each other, said Dr. Meghan Lyman of the CDC.

The danger of the fungus ‘superbug’

superbug fungus
Imagen: Shutterstock

The fungus, Candida auris, is a harmful form of yeast that is considered dangerous to hospital and nursing home patients with serious medical problems, ABC News explained.

The ‘superbug’ fungus is most deadly when it enters the bloodstream, heart, or brain. Outbreaks in health care facilities have been caused when the fungus spreads through contact with the patient or on contaminated surfaces, added the aforementioned media.

They warn about the risk

superbug fungus

According to the ABC News report, health officials have been sounding alarms for years about the superbug after observing infections in which commonly used drugs had little effect. In 2019, doctors diagnosed three cases in New York that were also resistant to a class of drugs, called echinocandins, that were considered a last line of defense.

In those cases, there was no evidence that the infections had spread from patient to patient, and the scientists concluded that drug resistance formed during treatment.

New cases spread

superbug fungus

New cases of the ‘superbug’ fungus have spread, the CDC said. In Washington DC, a group of 101 Candida auris cases in a nursing home dedicated to very ill patients included three that were resistant to all three types of antifungal medications.

And a group of 22 patients at two Dallas-area hospitals in Texas included two with that level of resistance. The facilities were not identified. Those cases were observed from January to April. Of the five people who showed complete resistance to the treatment, three died: the two patients from Texas and one in Washington.

Current outbreak of the fungus ‘superbug’ Candida auris

superbug fungus

Dr. Meghan Lyman said both are ongoing outbreaks and additional infections have been identified since April. But those additional numbers have not yet been reported, ABC News reported.

The researchers reviewed medical records and found no evidence of prior antifungal use among patients in those groups. Health officials mentioned that this means that they are transmitted from person to person, said the aforementioned media.

Global Health Alert

superbug fungus

The newspaper The Sun reported that the outbreak of the fungus ‘superbug’ Candida auris, which spreads from person to person, registered in Washington DC and Dallas has unleashed a “threat to global health.”

Most troubling, The Sun noted, is that three drug classifications failed to effectively treat patients found to have Candida auris, a “serious and sometimes deadly fungal infection that is emerging globally.” , defined the CDC in 2016 after confirming seven cases in a period of three years at that time.

CDC excludes unaccompanied minors from deportation

unaccompanied minors
Foto: Getty Images

Furthermore, unaccompanied minors will be exempt from the ban that prevents migrants from seeking asylum at the United States border, federal health authorities ordered on Friday, July 16, The Associated Press news agency reported.

The order of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States (CDC in English) confirmed the temporary exception it ordered in February for the total veto of the asylum request issued in October.

Unaccompanied minors would be excluded from deportation

unaccompanied minors
Foto: Getty Images

The government of former President Donald Trump cited concerns about the coronavirus pandemic to justify that veto. But with the COVID-19 vaccination rate on the rise, the change suggests that the Joe Biden executive would be considering a gradual easing of the ban.

An attorney for the Justice Department pointed out the change during a court hearing last Tuesday in Fort Worth. The hearing corresponded to a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas to force the application of Trump’s veto.

Lifting restrictions on asylum at the Trump-era border

asylum at the border
Foto: Getty Images

The decision comes as the Biden administration faces pressure from pro-immigration allies to lift the last major restrictions on asylum at the Trump-era border. Government prosecutor Brian Stoltz said the CDC order would make Texas’s arguments largely moot.

While the Biden administration has exempted unaccompanied children, some families and nearly all adults traveling alone are expelled from the United States, often to Mexico within two hours, without the ability to apply for asylum.

Asylum at the border

more immigrants at the border
Photo: AP

The Associated Press reported last year that then-Vice President Mike Pence ordered the CDC to use emergency powers to effectively seal the United States’ borders, overriding agency scientists who said there was no evidence the action would curb the COVID-19.

Lifting the ban could encourage more people to go to the border seeking asylum at a time when the United States is under increasing pressure. For more details read this note.