The Deadly Superbug-Time To Panic Or Not?
By Evan L Lipkis MD
Candida auris is that yeast bug you’ve been hearing about that attacks patients in the ICU. No doubt that it is a dangerous organism that was first found in the ear of an elderly Japanese woman.
This bug attacked patients simultaneously around the world and was highly resistant to many anti-fungal medications. Unfortunately more than a third of patients who acquire the disease die in a few months.
Why is this?
—The bug is durable.
—The patient already is quite sick.
—It’s hard to identify by current lab methods.
—Very few anti-fungal medicines work.
Is it time to panic?
While this superbug is cause for concern, it is not widespread in the U.S. and usually healthy people do not acquire the disease. Fortunately, only 600 cases have occurred here since 2013.
What can you do?
—Wash your hands frequently.
—Avoid people who have contagious diseases.
—Keep up to date with your vaccines so you don’t get sick.
Dr.’s Rx: Candida auris joins other superbugs that are currently attacking the sick. Judicious use of antibiotics, frequent hand washing, compliance with vaccines and further research can go a long way towards the prevention and treatment of this disease.
Evan L Lipkis MD