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C. Auris fungus threatens compromised immune systems

MS_Wire_Ed_TobiasMost healthy people probably do not have to worry about a mushroom called Candida atris, or simply C. auris. But if your immune system is compromised, the story is different.

Health officials say C. auris should be of particular interest to people whose immune systems are not at their peak, and I am one of them. I am treated with Lemtrada (alemtuzumab). Like Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), Mavenclad (cladribine) and HSCT (Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation) weaken our immune system as part of the treatment process. Steroids such as Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) and prednisone can also reduce the activity of the immune system.

My immune system may not only not be able to fight this attacker, but the health sector may not have many weapons to fight it. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some C. auris infections are resistant to the three drugs used to treat fungal infections. The fungus is also very persistent and can stay on a surface for weeks. As reported in The New York Times, it is extremely difficult to eradicate in hospitals.

"Everything was positive: the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the telephones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump," said the president of a hospital in New York City. C. auris death said the Time. "The mattress, the bed rails, the box holes, the blinds, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive."

the C. auris the threat is considered "urgent".

the Time reports: "In the last five years,C. auris) struck a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center (the Royal Brompton Hospital in London) to close its intensive care unit and took root in India, Pakistan and South Africa. South. "Recently, cases have been reported in New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

C. auris is one of only three bacteria and fungi on the list of "urgent threats" of the CDC – the highest threat category. Dr. Lynn Sosa, Connecticut's Assistant Epidemiologist, finds C. auris as the main threat among drug-resistant infections. She said to the Time "He's practically unbeatable and hard to identify." Its symptoms – chills and fever – are similar to those of many other infections.

Should you be concerned?

As I wrote at the beginning of this column, most healthy people probably do not have to worry about it. This is probably also true for most of us with MS. The CDC says C. auris is still rare in the United States, where it seems to be limited to health facilities. "[P]People who have lines and tubes that penetrate their bodies (such as breathing tubes, feeding tubes and central venous catheters) seem to be the most at risk, "added the agency. .

I will ask my neurologist about C. auris at my next appointment. I suggest you do the same if you are treated with steroids or with a DMT that suppresses your immune system. If you are treated at a health facility, you may want to ask if he has had a C. auris case. You can probably do nothing but be vigilant, but knowing is power. Just knowing that this nasty fungus is hiding may allow it to be quickly identified and treated if unexplained chills and fever that do not respond to the drugs strike you.

You are invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com.


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