According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 144 confirmed cases of Candida Auris, a deadly fungus, in Illinois.
Only one case has been reported in Indiana, and one local health official says residents don’t need to be on high alert. as of February 28.
When searching for the breeding grounds of Candida Auris, health professionals point to typical areas.
“Warm, wet, and dark climates,” said Union Hospital Director of Quality and Infection Control Marc Keilman.
Keilman says locals shouldn’t fear finding the fungus in their everyday environment, for it mostly affects those with lowered immune systems.
“It’s not something that’s walking up and down the streets, downtown, etc. so yeah it would be the sicker population that are a little bit more susceptible,” said Keilman.
As with any pathogen, the best way to prevent the spread is through simple hygienic practices.
“We really treat it no differently, so your standard precaution, remaining vigilant with hand hygiene, with guard protection depending on the patient, what type of infection it is, whether it’s a wound, pnuemonia, whatever the case may be,” said Keilman.
He adds that there have been zero cases of the fungus reported in Vigo County, and locals can trust that health officials at every level are on alert of the existence of this deadly fungus.
“With something like this for us, it’s more of an FYI at this point, we don’t change anything, because it hasn’t gotten here and we already feel like we have sort of the standard precautions in play to help that, but we do track it and we have the State in our corner helping us out as well.”
The Illinois State Dept. of Health released tips on hand hygiene that suggest patients and loved ones visiting them aren’t the only ones who need to hold each other accountable for their safe practices, but health professionals should as well.
Fever, nausea and fatigue are some of the main symptoms of Candida Auris. Fungi have a longer incubation period than bacteria, so the symptoms may manifest over a longer period of time.