Candida auris (C. auris) is a fungus, specifically a yeast, that can cause serious and deadly infections. It is becoming an increasingly common problem in hospitals and nursing homes, where it can spread quickly and cause serious harm to those who are infected. Infected patients, their family members, and people nearby are at risk of contracting the infection.
C. auris was first discovered in 2009 in Japan and has spread throughout the world, including the United States. Residents in long-term care facilities and people with weakened immune systems are the most at risk.
How Does Candida auris Spread?
Transmission of C. auris can occur through direct contact with infected patients or contaminated surfaces via airborne droplets. It can live on surfaces like bed rails, IV stands, door handles, and other objects — including humans — for weeks or even months.
This makes it easy for the fungus to spread from person to person through contact with contaminated surfaces, as well as airborne particles released when someone coughs or sneezes nearby. In some cases, C. auris can also be passed from one person to another through shared medical equipment, procedures, and even through skin-to-skin contact.
Candida auris Symptoms
The C. auris infection, candidiasis, can cause symptoms such as fever, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and skin rashes. The infection can enter the bloodstream causing severe consequences for people with compromised immune systems.
Some people might not experience symptoms but still carry C. auris on their bodies with the ability to infect others. This group of “colonized” individuals who are asymptomatic pose the most risk to the population. While the “colonized” might appear well, they can unknowingly spread and infect hundreds.
This transmission can become deadly in healthcare settings like long-term care facilities, nursing homes and assisted living communities, where patients and residents are more likely to have weakened immune systems and are more susceptible to infection.
How is Candida auris Treated?
Fungal infections, including candidiasis, are not easily treated. Many doctors will administer antifungal drugs to relieve symptoms and prevent transmission.
However, C. auris tends to be resistant to antifungal drugs used to treat the infection, so doctors are cautious when administering certain drugs as to not further aggravate the infection.
Managing Candida auris
Since 2020, we have seen a spike in C. auris infections across the U.S., particularly in healthcare settings with immunocompromised patients.
Because this fungus can spread through airborne particles and live on surfaces, it is important to take precautions such as cleaning areas where C. auris may be present.
In addition to cleaning surfaces with C. auris-specific disinfectants, using active air and surface purifiers can proactively neutralize pathogens like C. auris.
However, before investing in an additional layer of protection, be sure to investigate:
- Its stated efficacy
- If the technology has been studied by unaffiliated laboratories
- If the technology has been proven in real-world settings
ActivePure Technology has been shown to reduce the presence of Candida auris on surfaces by over 99.9% within 48 hours.