How Do You Get Candida Auris?

Candida Auris is a highly infectious fungal pathogen that can cause serious infections. Learn about the ways in which Candida Auris can be acquired and practical steps to prevent infection. Discover expert advice and stay informed on how to protect yourself from Candida Auris.

Candida auris has been making headlines across news platforms and social media lately, and for bad reason. It is a type of fungus that has recently emerged as a major public health concern worldwide. It was first identified in Japan in 2009 and has since spread to other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

This fungus is a serious health threat that can be difficult to diagnose and treat, and it has already caused outbreaks in healthcare settings around the world. With so much attention on this emerging pathogen, it’s important to understand exactly how people can contract Candida auris and what you can do to protect yourself from infection.

So, let’s take a closer look at each and every way that people can contract this fungus and explore some practical steps you can take to stay safe.

1. Direct Contact

One of the most common ways that people can contract Candida auris is through direct contact with an infected person or surface. The fungus can survive on surfaces for weeks, and it can be easily spread from person to person.

This is especially true in healthcare settings, where patients with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of infection. Healthcare workers who come into contact with infected patients or surfaces can also be at risk of contracting the fungus.

Examples of how, when, and where you can contract candida auris as a result of direct contact include:

  • A healthcare worker who cares for an infected patient and fails to follow proper infection control protocols, such as wearing gloves or washing their hands.
  • A family member who visits an infected loved one in the hospital and touches contaminated surfaces or items in the patient’s room.
  • A person who is in close contact with someone who has a Candida auris infection, such as a roommate or intimate partner.
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2. Indirect Contact

People can also contract Candida auris through indirect contact. This can happen when a person touches a surface that has been contaminated with the fungus and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes. It can also happen when a person inhales spores from the fungus, which can be present in the air around infected individuals.

Few examples of how, when, and where you can get candida auris through indirect contacts include the followings:

  • A person who touches a contaminated surface, such as a doorknob, elevator button, or bed rail, and then touches their face without washing their hands.
  • A person who inhales spores from the fungus that are present in the air around an infected individual, particularly in a healthcare setting where infected patients may be housed in close proximity to others.
  • A person who uses contaminated medical equipment, such as a ventilator or catheter, that has not been properly disinfected between uses.

3. Medical Procedures

Another way that people can contract Candida auris is through medical procedures. Patients who undergo invasive medical procedures, such as surgery or the use of a ventilator, are at an increased risk of infection. This is because these procedures can disrupt the body’s natural defenses against infection and provide an entry point for the fungus.

Examples of how, when, and where you can get candida auris via medical procedures are:

  • A patient who undergoes surgery or a medical procedure that requires the use of a catheter, breathing tube, or other medical device that is inserted into the body.
  • A patient who is hospitalized and requires the use of a ventilator or other life support equipment.
  • A patient who receives chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive treatments that weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to infection.

4. Contaminated Food or Drink

Although rare, there have been cases where people have contracted Candida auris through contaminated food or drink. This can happen when food or drink is contaminated with the fungus and consumed by an individual. However, it is important to note that this mode of transmission is not as common as direct or indirect contact.

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Examples of how, when, and where you could get candida auris through contaminated food or drink include:

  • A person who consumes food or drink that has been contaminated with the fungus, such as unpasteurized dairy products or raw fruits and vegetables.
  • A person who consumes food or drink that has been contaminated with Candida auris during preparation or storage, such as in a restaurant or grocery store.
  • A person who handles contaminated food or drink without proper hand hygiene, such as a food handler in a restaurant or catering service.

In all, there are multiple ways in which people can contract Candida auris, and it is important to be aware of these modes of transmission to prevent the spread of this potentially deadly fungus.

Prevention tips

Candida Auris is a highly infectious fungal pathogen that can cause serious bloodstream, ear, and wound infections. To stay safe from Candida Auris infection outbreak, it is essential to follow practical steps that can help prevent the spread of the infection. Here are some steps that can help:

  1. Maintain good hygiene: Good hygiene practices are essential to prevent the spread of Candida Auris. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating or preparing food, after using the bathroom, and after being in public places.
  2. Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Healthcare workers should use PPE, such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection, when caring for patients with Candida Auris infection to prevent the spread of the infection.
  3. Clean and disinfect surfaces: Candida Auris can survive on surfaces for long periods. Therefore, it is essential to clean and disinfect surfaces in healthcare settings, including hospital rooms, medical equipment, and other high-touch surfaces.
  4. Practice safe food handling: Although rare, there have been cases of Candida auris infection linked to contaminated food or drink. To reduce your risk of infection, practice safe food handling by washing your hands and surfaces before preparing food, cooking food to the appropriate temperature, and avoiding unpasteurized dairy products and raw fruits and vegetables.
  5. Practice safe sex: Candida Auris can be sexually transmitted, so using condoms during sexual activity can help prevent infection.
  6. Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics: Overuse of antibiotics can kill beneficial bacteria that help keep Candida Auris in check. Therefore, it is essential to use antibiotics only when necessary and as prescribed.
  7. Seek medical attention if you have symptoms: Seek medical attention if you have symptoms of Candida Auris infection, such as fever, chills, and skin or wound infections. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the spread of the infection.
  8. Stay Informed
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Remarks

In conclusion, Candida auris is a serious and potentially deadly fungus that can be contracted through various means. Direct contact with an infected person or surface, indirect contact, medical procedures, and contaminated food or drink are all potential ways that the fungus can be transmitted.

Meanwhile, understanding how Candida Auris spreads is crucial in preventing infection. By following practical steps, such as good hygiene practices, using PPE, and seeking medical attention when necessary, we can protect ourselves and others from this highly infectious fungal pathogen. Stay informed, stay safe.

It is important for healthcare providers and the general public to take precautions to prevent the spread of Candida auris and to seek medical attention if they suspect they may be infected.

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