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Nursing homes are excellent breeding grounds for candida auris superbug

Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2019 by Carl-Erich Kruse

Hospitals may not be the most fertile breeding ground for the dangerous candida auris fungus after all: it turns out that dubious distinction may belong to nursing homes. The causes are multiple, but some of the primary reasons include: vulnerable, ill patients, in close confines, amidst staff passing frequently among the multiple patients and pathogens, and substandard implementation of protocols to curtail their spread.

Nursing homes already see a higher incidence of antibiotic resistant pathogens than hospitals. Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs of the New York Times recently reported on the omissions that unnecessarily exposed nursing home patients to further spread of this deadly fungus. While New York law requires a sign outside the rooms of patients carrying c. auris requiring visitors wear gloves, a mask, and a gown, the entreaties often went ignored.

While hand hygiene is well known to be the simplest way to prevent the spread of germs, many facilities lack even hand sanitizers outside of patient rooms. The result is an increased likelihood that spores will travel with a visitor to the room of another patient.

While the candida auris superbug is notoriously difficult to eradicate, systemic failures to implement proper infection control protocols invite outbreaks of these pathogens. And doing so in nursing homes puts the most vulnerable members of our community at unnecessary risk. And tragically the results are can be devastating.

You may be familiar with cases regarding the the proliferation of this fungus around the world and how difficult it truly is to eradicate. Because the fungus is so difficult to eradicate, best practices tend to focus on efforts to prevent its spread. Yet, when medical facilities fail to make even minimal hygienic efforts, these providers are not even approaching the minimum standard of care to protect their patients.

Read the article here: Nursing Homes are Breeding Ground for Fatal Fungus

Read our prior coverage regarding candida auris here: Fungus Superbug Now “Serious Global Threat”

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