Drug-resistant fungus spreading through hospitals, nursing homes

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A harmful and deadly yeast-fungus called candida auris is lurking in hospitals and nursing homes, and health officials are now warning about how fast it is spreading in health care facilities.

Nearly 600 cases in 12 states across the U.S. have been reported. As of Feb. 28, more than 100 cases were reported in Illinois and one case was reported in Indiana, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Candida auris can enter the bloodstream and spread rapidly, wreaking havoc throughout the body and causing serious invasive infections.

The biggest problem is, the infections are extremely hard to treat because the fungus is resistant to most anti-fungal drugs. Symptoms are also hard to detect because the fungus is often infecting people who are already sick. 

It is  difficult to identify and can only be diagnosed by specialized laboratories using specific testing methods, which is making it difficult to control the spread.

Scientists are still working to learn more about the yeast.

They recommend washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizers in health care facilities, and remind your health care providers to do the same during your visits.

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