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Old 16-08-17, 08:51   #1
 
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Important Japanese Fungus Spreading Through British Hospitals

Drug-Resistant Japanese Fungus is Spreading Through British Hospitals Wards

  • A dangerous Japanese fungus is spreading through British hospital wards
  • More than 200 patients have been affected or found to carry the fungus
  • Hospitals and nursing homes have been ordered to deep clean affected areas
  • The fungus, Candida auris, has been resistant to all anti-fungal drug treatment
Daily Mail UK, 16 Aug 2017.






Health officials are concerned about the emergence of a new infection Credit:
PA


A dangerous Japanese fungus is spreading through British hospital wards, health officials warned.
More than 200 patients have been affected or found to carry the fungus, which is resistant to regular drugs.

Hospitals and nursing homes have been ordered to deep clean affected areas and isolate patients after it spread to at least 55 hospitals.

The fungus, Candida auris, has been resistant to all three main classes of anti-fungal drug treatment.
It was first identified in the ear canal of a 70-year-old woman in Japan and has been likened to a ‘superbug’.

The first case of Candida auris in the UK was in 2013.





File photo of a doctor and a surgeon push a patient on a hospital bed trolley through accident and emergency department of a UK hospital
If a person is healthy they are unlikely to be affected by the fungus, but may still carry it.


But if a patient has a damaged immune system, it can prove fatal and cause major disabilities.

Public Health England (PHE) said that since July, 20 NHS trusts and hospitals have found more than 200 cases of patients infected or carrying the fungus, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The guidance warns the three largest outbreaks ‘have proved difficult to control, despite intensive infection prevention and control measures’.

The worst affected trusts include Kings College Hospital Foundation trust, Oxford University Hospitals Foundation trust, the Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield NHS Foundation trust have been the worst affected by the outbreak.

Infections forced the Royal Brompton hospital to close its intensive care unit for a fortnight last year.
These outbreaks have now been declared over, but the problem persists at many other hospitals.

No patients have died as a result fungus in the UK, but worldwide studies showed 60 per cent of those infected with the fungus die.
It has not been proved that the infection caused those deaths.

Prof Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, said the outbreaks were a big challenge for hospitals.





Candida auris (pictured) has been resistant to all three main classes of anti-fungal drug treatment



He said: ‘This situation is a nightmare for intensive care units in particular.
‘The kind of patient that gets infected by this will normally already be immunosuppressed - whether that is because of chemotherapy, tumours, or deliberately suppressed for medical reasons.’

The pathogen is picked up from skin to skin contact or infected surfaces.
Symptons include bloodstream infections, wound infections and inflammation of the ear.

Dr Colin Brown, PHE consultant medical microbiologist said: ‘PHE continues to provide ongoing expert support and advice on infection control measures to limit the spread of Candida auris in healthcare settings.

‘Our enhanced surveillance of this uncommon fungus shows that in the UK it has mostly been detected in colonised patients, with a quarter being clinical infections.
‘Control measures include screening patients for the fungus, isolating anyone affected, focusing on the importance of hand hygiene and deep cleaning all affected areas.
‘If a member of the public comes into contact with a patient who is carrying, or is infected with Candida auris, they should be protected by regular hand washing as a precautionary measure.’
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