Recently, there was a story in the BBC news about a Japanese fungus spreading in UK hospitals. Here at Ames Pest Control, we are passionate about keeping you up-to-date regarding all things pest related and the Japanese Fungus is a pest, of sorts.
More than 200 patients in England were reported to have been contaminated with the fungus and hospitals were on the lookout for further cases, putting control measures in place to avoid further spread.
Here at Ames Group we are fully aware of the devastation that Legionnaires disease can cause, which is why we offer a Legionella control service throughout the UK. This new Japanese fungus resides in the same places as Legionella and we thought it would be helpful to write an article and shed some light on this panic-inducing situation.
What is the Japanese Fungus?
The Japanese Fungus, otherwise medically referred to as Candida Auris, originated in Japan and belongs to a family of fungi or yeasts that live on the skin and inside the human body. The fungus was first identified in 2009 when a patient from Japan was admitted to hospital. Ever since, outbreaks have been reported in hospitals around the world, including the UK.
Candida Auris is commonly acquired by patients in hospitals who suffer with weakened immune systems.
Candida Auris is Concerning for Three Main Reasons:
- It is often multi-drug resistant.
- It can be easily misidentified in labs without specific technology and this may lead to mismanagement.
- It has caused serious outbreaks within healthcare settings.
Is it Dangerous?
Candida Auris can often go undetected, some people can carry the infection without any symptoms of being unwell. Patients in hospital who catch Candid Auris may become sick. Although, despite public opinion, infections are usually minor. Candida Auris causes more serious problems when it enters the bloodstream and wound infections.
How is it Spread?
How Candida Auris is spread is still being investigated. However, experts think it is spread by contact from person to person, on people’s clothing or hands. In hospitals, it can also be transported from patient to patient on medical equipment.
Who is Most at Risk?
Candida Auris infections can be found in patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. However, those most at risk from Candida Auris are those who have recently spent time in nursing homes and have lines going into their body for the administration of medication. Also, those with a compromised immune system, people in the intensive care unit, transplant recipients or cancer patients will be more likely to suffer the infection.
Is Candida Auris Treatable?
Most Candida Auris infections are treatable with a class of antifungal drugs called echinocandins. For the infections which have become resistant to all three main classes of antifungal medications, multiple classes of antifungal medication may be required in high doses to treat the infection. Treatment decisions should always be made by a healthcare professional with the needs and medical history of the patient in mind.
As we mentioned before, Candida Auris has built up an immunity to several drugs used to treat it. Therefore, it is proving hard to stop. However, the spreading of Candida Auris can be limited by keeping your hands clean by frequent hand washing and use of alcohol gel is essential – especially if you work in healthcare! Good hand hygiene is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
If a hospital patient is found to be infected, visitors and carers should wear a gown, plastic aprons and gloves to protect themselves whilst around the patient to reduce the risk of infection.
Contact us Today
If you are concerned about Candida Auris, or you would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. Our staff here at Ames Pest Control would be happy to give you more information on this parasite that is wreaking havoc in UK hospitals.
Our staff at Ames are passionate about keeping you updated on anything and everything in the world of pests and legionella. For further information about pests in the UK, check out our website or visit our company blog for in-depth information on common UK pests and other articles of interest.