When a yeast infection becomes invasive—something that most commonly happens to people recovering from surgery—it can be a serious problem. And according to a warning issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , there’s a drug-resistant strain that’s rapidly spreading.
The potentially deadly bacteria—candida auris—has been found in nine countries so far and can cause wound, ear, and bloodstream infections. One case was already reported in the U.S. in 2013. Scarily, some reports have found the mortality rate for this rare strain to be around 60 percent.
The issue is that this particular version of the normally innocuous infection is super-resistant to anti-fungal drugs, which has health officials very worried about its spread. To make matters more puzzling, C. auris is tough for doctors to identify in the lab, so they may miss the infection entirely when treating patients.
Although there are still limited reports on C. auris infections and patient outcomes (partially because its is so hard to identify), the CDC is placing all U.S. healthcare facilities on alert for the multi-drug resistant yeast infection.