In case you need something else to worry about right now, we’d like to remind you that the coronavirus is not the only deadly bug out there. There are certain infections caused by fungi that can also make you very sick and even claim your life.
However, most fungi are not dangerous to human health. The infections we are going to cover are relatively rare, so read on in the spirit of being prepared for anything that might come your way. It can be helpful to recognize the signs of problematic infections that aren’t covid-19.
1. Candida auris
This fungus is currently being watched by the CDC because it is both easily transmissible and very difficult to treat. Candida auris survives for months on skin (though that’s a long time to go without a bath!) and lives on many hard surfaces for weeks. Because of this, it spreads very easily in healthcare settings.
Candida auris is a type of yeast first seen in 2009, and since then has been reported in more than a dozen countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. This fungus is particularly troublesome because some strains of it are resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drugs.
Infections primarily affect the blood, brain, eyes, heart, and bones, but can spread to other parts of the body. It can be hard to identify because many sufferers are already in the hospital for other reasons. Typically Candida auris symptoms include a fever and chills that won’t go away, even after treatment with antibiotics.
Currently, about 60% of people who contract Candida auris die from the infection. Those at greatest risk have underlying conditions or have been hospitalized for a long time. A small number of people infected with the organism will not become ill.