Fungal Disease Awareness Week

PUBLISHED: Aug 14, 2017
Relevant to: Ambulatory Care, Critical Access Hospitals, Dialysis Facilities, Home Health, Hospice, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Medical Office/Clinic

August 14–18, 2017 is the first Fungal Disease Awareness Week, organized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners, to highlight the importance of recognizing serious fungal diseases early enough in the course of a patient’s illness to provide life-saving treatment.

According to the CDC, some fungal diseases go undiagnosed and cause serious infections in people in the United States and around the world, leading to illness and death. Increased awareness about fungal diseases is one of the most important ways to improve early recognition and reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment. A key clue to when a sick person may have a fungal infection is that he or she is being treated with medications for other types of infection but does not get better.

The CDC is encouraging healthcare providers and their patients to “Think Fungus” when symptoms of infection do not get better with treatment. The CDC has made available information to increase awareness about fungal diseases. Links to those resources are provided below.

Fungal Awareness Weeks serves as a good time to remind clinicians of that Candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant (MDR) yeast that can cause invasive infections and is associated with high mortality. C. auris infections have most commonly been hospital-acquired and occurred several weeks into a patient’s hospital stay. C. auris has been reported to cause bloodstream infections, wound infections, and otitis . It has also been cultured from urine and the respiratory tract; however, whether isolation from these sites represented infection verses colonization in each instance is unknown. C. auris has been documented to cause infections in patients of all ages. Patients were found to have similar risk factors for infections with other Candida spp., including: diabetes mellitus, recent surgery, recent antibiotics, and presence of central venous catheters. Co-infection with other Candida spp. and detection of C. auris while the patient was being treated with antifungals have also been reported.

The first cases of C. auris were identified in the fall of 2016 (see StayAlert! Notice published on November 7, 2016). Included with today’s notice is an example policy reflecting the CDC’s interim infection control guidance for multi-drug resistant C. auris, as well as other relevant example policies.

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