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CDC Chief Says Spread Of New Superbug Poses 'Catastrophic Threat' To The Public

A lethal fungus has already killed 61 people in the United States and Acting CDC chief Anne Schuchat warns that the superbug poses a "catastrophic threat" to the public.

The fungus can infect wounds, infiltrate the bloodstream and take root in the urinary tract - it's resistant to many antifungal drugs.

Public health officials are warning US doctors to watch for the Candida auris fungus in hospitals. According to STAT news, patients who have recently undergone surgery, used central venous catheters, been hospitalized for lengthy periods as well as those with diabetes are at high risk of infection.

So far, the lethal fungus was first identified eight years ago in Japan, but has now spread around the world. Sixty-one people in New York, New Jersey and Illinois have been killed by the fungus already.

According to the CDC, the fatality rate of this fungus is frighteningly high: About 60 percent of people who get infected with C.auris have died.

Candida auris falls into the category of drug resistant superbugs know as CREs - bacteria known to scientists that are resistant to most antibiotics. They call them "nightmare bacteria."

“This is a big threat and a wake-up call,” she said. “It was a problem for Ebola. It was a problem for SARS. It’s a problem for drug resistance,” says Schuchat.

Want to know more about superbugs, and how they start? Watch this clip below:

[h/t CDC / STAT ]

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