Drug-Resistant Fungus Spreading in U.S., Warns Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

Monday, November 7, 2016 Drug News J E 4

TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over the past several years, a new strain of yeast infection, Candida auris, has been emerging in the U.S., primarily in hospitalized patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This strain, resistant to antifungal medications, apparently first arrived in the U.S. only a few years ago. It is related to strains from South Asia or South America.

The CDC press release was embargoed until Nov 4, the Friday before an election in which immigration is a major issue, notes Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., a specialist in preventive medicine and a former director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Nevertheless, CDC highlights the "need for urgent, coordinated federal, state, local, and international public health response."

Enhanced awareness is needed because "identifying C. auris requires specialized laboratory methods," CDC continues. It can easily be misidentified as another type of Candida infection, in which case patients may not receive appropriate treatment. In fact, most of the patient samples in the current report were initially misidentified.

"Mass migration, legal or illegal, inevitably carries infectious disease risks. That was the reason immigrants were previously quarantined and carefully examined on Ellis Island before being admitted to the U.S.," Dr. Vliet said.

"Why the delay of years in publicizing this new threat, and the need for urgent action?" Dr. Vliet asks. "Are officials more interested in supporting this Administration's open-door immigration and rapid resettlement policy than in protecting Americans' health?"

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in virtually all specialties and every state. Founded in 1943, AAPS has the motto "omnia pro aegroto," which means "all for the patient."


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SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)



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