CDC chief fears deadly Candida auris could spread: 6 notes

CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, MD, fears that deadly, superbug Candida auris poses a "catastrophic threat" to the general public, STAT reports.

Here's what you should know.

1. The fungus has killed approximately 61 people in the United States to date. It has an estimated 60 percent fatality rate.

2. Physicians found the fungus in Japan eight years ago. It has since spread around the world.

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

4. The CDC has warned providers to watch for the fungus in hospitals in June 2016. It has since conducted a investigation of the first seven reported cases and issued several recommendations.

5. Patients at high risk include those undergoing surgery, those with central venous catheters, those hospitalized for long periods of time or those with diabetes.

6. The fungus is hard to eradicate and has led to some hospital wing closures, STAT reports.

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